Year Events related to the Olympics Events related to sports in Japan and the Tokyo Olympics Other Major Events
1894 Founding of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) The First Sino-Japanese War begins.
1896 The 1st Athens Olympics are held. The Great Meiji Sanriku Tsunami
1909 Kano Jigoro is elected as the first Japanese member of the IOC. Ito Hirobumi is assassinated.
1911 Founding of the Japan Amateur Athletic Association Execution of Kotoku Shusui and others involved in the High Treason Incident
1912 The 5th Stockholm Olympics are held. Kanakuri Shiso (marathon) and Mishima Yahiko (sprint) are the first Japanese athletes to participate in Olympics. Sinking of the Titanic
1915 Inauguration of the Inter-Middle School Baseball Championship Tournament Japan poses the Twenty-One Demands to China.
1916 The 6th Berlin Olympics are cancelled due to World War I. Battle of Verdun (World War I)
1920 The 7th Antwerp Olympics are held. Kumagai Ichiya (tennis) is the first Japanese athlete to win an Olympic medal (silver). The 1st Hakone Ekiden The Treaty of Versailles Formation of the League of Nations
1924 The 1st Chamonix Winter Olympics are held.
The 8th Paris Olympics are held.
Naito Katsutoshi (wrestling) is the only Japanese athlete to a medal (bronze).
Inauguration of the Inter-Middle School Invitational Baseball Championship Tournament
Koshien Stadium opens.
The National Fascist Party wins a general election in Italy.
1925 Paddock (sprint) and other athletes from the United States visit Japan.
Inauguration of the Tokyo Big-Six Baseball League
Start of radio broadcasting by the Tokyo Broadcasting Station
Promulgation of the General Election Law and the Peace Preservation Law
1928 The 2nd St. Moritz Winter Olympics are held. Nagata Minoru (cross-country skiing) and five others are the first Japanese athletes to take part in the Winter Olympics.
The 9th Amsterdam Olympics are held. Oda Mikio (triple jump) is the first Japanese athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. Hitomi Kinue (middle-distance running) is the first Japanese woman to win a silver medal.
Universal suffrage is implemented in Japan.
1929 President of the International Association of Athletics Federations Edström visits Japan and meets with President of the Inter-University Athletics Union of Japan Yamamoto Tadaoki to discuss Japan’s hosting of the Olympics. The Wall Street Crash
1930 Yamamoto researches sports in Europe at the request of Mayor of Tokyo City Nagata Hidejiro. The London Naval Conferences
1931 A “Proposal for hosting the International Olympics” was adopted at the session of the Tokyo City Assembly. The Mukden Incident leads to the Japanese Invasion of Mancuhria.
1932 The 3rd Lake Placid Winter Olympics
The 10th Los Angeles Olympics are held. Japan wins seven gold medals, including Nambu Chuhei (triple jump), Nishi Takeichi (equestrian, jumping), and others. Japan finishes fifth in the overall medal standings.
The City of Tokyo submits an official letter of invitation to the IOC session.
Kishi Seiichi delivers lectures to the Emperor.
The May 15th Incident occurs.
1933 Kano lobbies at the IOC session in Vienna. Sugimura Yotaro is appointed the third Japanese member of the IOC. Hitler is elected Reich Chancellor as the Nazi Party comes to power in Germany.
The United States initiates the New Deal program.
Japan withdraws from the League of Nations.
1934 Kishi Seiichi dies and is succeeded by Soejima Michimasa as a member of the IOC and negotiates with Mussolini.
Gehrig, Ruth, and other American League players visit Japan for an MLB—Japan All-Star Series. Pitcher Sawamura Eiji performs powerfully for Japan. Foundation of the Dai Nippon Tokyo Yakyu Club.
The Muroto Typhoon strikes Japan.
Chinese Red Army embarks on the Long March.
1935 “Proposal for hosting the 12th Olympics in Tokyo” is approved by the House of Representatives and the House of Peers.
Rome withdraws its bid at the IOC session in Oslo.
Germany announces rearmament.
Minobe Tatsukichi’s theory of the Emperor-as-an-Organ-of-the-State is attacked in the House of Peers.
The 1st Akutagawa Prize and Naoki Prize are awarded.
1936 The 4th Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Olympics was held. 12-year-old Inada Etsuko becomes the youngest Olympic figure skater ever.
The 11th Berlin Olympics are held. The first torch relay is held. "Miracle of Berlin" soccer match takes place. Oe Sueo and Nishida Shuhei (pole vaulters) create their “Friendship Medal.” Olympic events are broadcast live via radio for the first time. Leni Riefenstahl makes the documentary film “Olympia.”
Latour, the President of the IOC visits Japan.
The 12th Olympics are awarded at the IOC session in Berlin.
The Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee is formed.
The February 26th Incident occurs.
1937 The Japanese Professional Baseball League is inaugurated.
Kono Ichiro opposes the Tokyo Olympics at a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee.
The 5th Sapporo Winter Olympics are conditionally approved at the IOC session in Warsaw.
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident takes place, marking the outbreak of the Second Sino–Japanese War.
1938 The Tokyo Olympics and the Sapporo Olympics are officially approved at the IOC session in Cairo. Kano dies on his way back to Japan from the ICO session.
The Regulation of Distribution and Control of Steel Law is promulgated.
The cabinet decides to cancel both the Tokyo and the Sapporo Olympics.
The National Mobilization Law is promulgated.
1939 In sumo, Futabayama’s 69-match winning streak ends. Outbreak of World War II.
1940 The 5th Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Olympics and the 12th Helsinki Olympics, which were scheduled to replace the Tokyo and Sapporo Games, are cancelled due to World War II. 2600th Anniversary of the imperial era.
1941 The Attack on Pearl Harbor marks the outbreak of the Pacific War.
1944 The 5th Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics and the 13th London Olympics are cancelled due to World War II. Invasion of Normandy.
1945 Korakuen Stadium is requisitioned by GHQ. The Potsdam Declaration. The atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1947 Furuhashi Hironoshin (swimming) sets a world record. The Constitution of Japan is enacted.
1948 The 5th St. Moritz and 14th London Olympics are held, but Japanese athletes are not allowed to take part. The Dai Nippon Taiiku Kyokai changes its name to the Nippon Taiiku Kyokai (Japan Sports Association). The International Military Tribunal for the Far East concludes.
1952 The 15th Helsinki Olympics are held, with Japanese athletes participating for the first time since the war. Shirai Yoshio (boxing) becomes the first Japanese boxer to win a world title. The Bloody May Day Incident occurs.
1954 Rikidōzan meets Masahiko Kimura (professional wrestling) The Daigo Fukuryu Maru Incident occurred.
1959 Nagashima Shigeo (baseball) hit a game-winning home run in a game attended by the Japanese Emperor. The Cuban Revolution occurs.
1964 The 18th Olympics in Tokyo are held. "The Oriental Witches" (volleyball) win a gold medal. Kaminaga Akio (judo) is defeated by Geesink. The Tokaido Shinkansen opens.
1972 The 11th Sapporo Winter Olympics are held. “Hinomaru Hikotai” sweep the ski jumping event. The Asama-Sanso incident occurred.
1998 The 18th Nagano Winter Olympics are held. Japan participates for the first time in an FIFA World Cup in France. The Wakayama Curry Incident occurred.
2013 Tokyo is elected as the host city of the 2020 Olympics at the IOC session in Buenos Aires.
2020 The 32th Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo.


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