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The History of Modern Olympics

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  • Track and Field Uniform and Spiked Shoes (Yahiko Mishima)
  • Track and Field Uniform and Spiked Shoes (Yahiko Mishima)
    The 5th Olympiad in Stockholm (Sweden) /1912

  • Japan competed in the Olympic Games for the first time in Stockholm, 1912. The track and field sprinter Yahiko Mishima and the marathon runner Shizo Kanaguri became the first Japanese athletes who qualified to compete. Back then, athletes did not have the support that today’s Olympic participants enjoy; the athletes and staff had to cover all of the expenses themselves and the training facilities and equipment were far from adequate. Under these trying circumstances neither Mishima nor Kanaguri could achieve a high level of performance. Nevertheless, the Stockholm Games was a watershed event in that it inspired the Japanese sporting community to begin competing in the international arena.

  • Victory Frame of Takeichi Nishi (Equestrian Competition)
  • Victory Frame of Takeichi Nishi (Equestrian Competition)
    The 10th Olympiad in Los Angeles (USA) /1932

  • Takeichi Nishi and his beloved horse Uranus won a show jumping gold medal in the equestrian event grand prix(jumping)individual, which formed the finale of the Olympic Games. The people of Los Angeles respectfully called him Baron Nishi, when it became known that he was actually a Baron under the Japanese peerage system at the time.

    The frame contains a diploma, a gold medal and a participation medal, with the four corners adorned with the horseshoes of Uranus.

  • Costume (Etsuko Inada) (Figure Skating)
  • Costume (Etsuko Inada) (Figure Skating)
    The 4th Winter Olympiad in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) /1936

  • Etsuko Inada attracted a great deal of attention when she became the youngest Olympian at the age of twelve. To this day she remains the youngest Japanese athlete to have competed at the Olympic Games. By far the tiniest of the competitors, she nevertheless gave a commanding performance and came in 10th out of 26. The hair band, the carnation ornament, and the mark of the rising sun were reconstructed from Inada’s own recollections.

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