On September 7, 2013, Tokyo was honored to be selected as the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics by the International Olympic Committee during a meeting held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is the second time that Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics, some 56 years after the first Tokyo Olympics were held in 1964. Something that is less well known, however, is that Tokyo was also chosen to host the 1940 Summer Olympics, but Japan eventually chose to cancel the games.

This edition of Kaleidoscope of Books discusses the history of Japan’s participation in the modern Olympic Games, with a close look at the circumstances surrounding the lost Tokyo Olympics of 1940.

  • These high-definition images are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections. Those that are labelled NDL Digital Collections can be viewed via the Internet on any computer. Those labelled Restricted access can only be viewed on computer terminals at the NDL or an affiliated library, or via the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals. For more information, please refer to the webpages for the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries and Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals.
  • A string in square brackets is a NDL Call Number.
  • The original Japanese-language article first appeared in February 2014 as part of Small Electronic Exhibitions Kaleidoscope of Books, No. 15. Please note that the descriptions herein are based on information that was current at that time.

Chapter 1: Japan’s participation
in the Olympic Games

Back to top