The culture games: How the Japan Olympics are about manga and anime as much as sport

The Olympics are proving a showcase for Japanese contemporary culture, reports John Amari in Tokyo

Thursday 29 July 2021 17:40
comments
<p>A schoolboy reads a manga comic book while waiting for the train on a platform in Tokyo</p>

A schoolboy reads a manga comic book while waiting for the train on a platform in Tokyo

The current Olympics, like all, has been a showcase of some of the world’s leading athletes. But many may have missed another key feature of the Games - a platform sampling some of the most iconic elements of popular Japanese culture.

During the opening ceremony, organisers ensured that viewers enjoyed the best of modern Japan, especially elements from video games, manga and anime, as well as Japanese pop music (J-pop) and design.

Led by Greece, the parade of athletes began with triumphant orchestral music from “Roto’s Theme”, a song from Japanese role-playing videogame (RPG) Dragon Quest, which is played on the Nintendo DS console.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments