October 15, 2011

Anniversary of Bob Hayes' Gold Medal Win

On this day in 1964, Bob Hayes won the Gold Medal in the 100 meter race in the Olympic Games here in Tokyo. He was drafted as a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys after the Olympics. He won a Super Bowl ring and was later elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Running like Bob Hayes is mentioned in
J-Boys: Kazuo's World, Tokyo, 1965, the middle grade novel written by Shogo Oketani and translated into English by Avery Fischer Udagawa. I read it this summer and really enjoyed it!

The story takes place in 1965. You might be surprised to find American TV shows and products mentioned in daily life here back then. It is a great look into the world of Japanese boys and Japanese culture of the time. I highly recommend it. For all ages.

For more information about the book go to the website, J-Boys.
To buy the book go here.

To watch a clip of the race from Kon Ichikawa's documentary, Tokyo Olympiad 1964, click here.

October 10, 2011

Sports Day

The 1964 Olympics opened on October 10th in Tokyo. That date became Sports Day all over Japan. In our area, schools have their undokai (sports competitions) either in October or May. Announcements, cheers and music ring out through the neighborhood. Today was quiet so maybe the undokai was in May. We don't have anyone in school in the neighborhood anymore and I don't remember last May (two months after the earthquake and tsunami!)

This photo is from Little Brother's last year in junior high. Only the guys in his grade did this. They had to keep in sync to keep from falling. At least one in every group had a bandaged knee from practice. During the event, no one fell.

Little Brother is now in high school downtown. His Sports Day competition was last May and was held in the gym. (Taking good photos in a gym is hard so I don't have any to share.) For old posts about Sports Day click here or on the labels and links below.

Kids Web Japan Sports Day