Tokyo Opening Ceremony

I suppose I have a bit of a tradition on my website now of reviewing olympic opening ceremonies, and having just watched the Tokyo opening ceremony, part of me wants to say something about it; but what can I say? I think most of all, I am left with a sense of curiosity at what could have been. It was obviously a very paired down ceremony due to the pandemic, and much of it’s content focussed on the pandemic and it’s effects. Don’t get me wrong, there were parts which genuinely amazed me, such as the drones which lit up to form a globe, and I felt the speeches about global unity and cooperation really resonated. Yet, as many others are noting, it was much more low key than your usual olympic opening ceremony. You have to wonder what the Japanese could have shown us, had they had the chance: what spectaculars did they originally have in mind? Just imagine that the pandemic bomb had exploded in 2012, and this had happened to London. So much preparation, excitement and build-up, all to come to nothing and get replaced with a respectful, far more sombre ceremony performed to an empty stadium. In 2012, Danny Boyle used London’s opening ceremony to show the world a wonderful, vibrant collage of British culture. What could we have seen of Japanese culture, apart from the glimpses we got? I suspect they would have taken the world’s breath away given the chance, but Japan’s moment in the spotlight was dimmed by a virus. You really have to feel sorry for them.

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