New publication: Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics

Barbara Holthus's picture

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the publication of Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics (Routledge 2020), co-edited by Barbara Holthus, Isaac Gagné, Wolfram Manzenreiter, and Franz Waldenberger. 

This book situates the 2020 Tokyo Olympics within the social, economic, and political challenges for Japan. While the new Olympic competition is the race to reign in COVID-19 in time to hold Tokyo 2020 in the summer of 2021, in fact the build-up to Tokyo 2020 has been many years in the making, and this book documents how the preparations for the Olympics have already created tremendous changes in Japan. Tokyo 2020 is constructed to embrace diversity and inclusiveness in society, foster sustainability, boost Japan’s economy, improve social cohesion, create a feeling of unity and pride for the country, and increase citizens’ active participation in fostering the well-being of society. Through a critical, scholarly perspective, this book uses the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a lens onto the city and country, offering insights and new perspectives on city planning, cultural politics, financial issues, language use, security concepts, education, volunteerism, and construction work. It explains the many stakeholders, institutions, average citizens, interest groups, and protest groups involved. This interplay between tensions and hopes is particularly elevated now, due to the current COVID-19 epidemic and the Games postponement.

This volume assembles 34 short chapters covering all relevant aspects of society, economics, culture, and politics including technology, food, security, work, media, sexuality, history, film, linguistics, volunteering, architecture, advertising, and – of course – sports! 

The book is also great to use as a textbook for introductory Japanese studies classes!

This is not only published as paperback and hardcover, but is also available as an Open Access book, so you can download the entire book or individual chapters for free:

For additional information on this project please see:

Best regards,

Barbara Holthus

Dr. Dr. Barbara G. Holthus
Deputy Director
German Institute for Japanese Studies
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F, 7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0094, Japan,Ph: ++81-3-3222-5145,