My B/W photos (Left to right): 1. International student wearing a facemask. 2. Social distancing. 3. Social distancing. 4. Message in the windows of Tachikawa Sougo General Hospital: “Hospital at its limits. Stop the Olympics!”. 5. ‘TOKYO 2020’ Olympic banners and the ‘Olympic’ supermarket’s signboard at the top of building. – Taken on April 2021
The Olympic games opened on July 23. The Tokyo Paralympics start from August 24. But I haven’t been vaccinated yet. Vaccination for the coronavirus has been delayed in Japan. Anyway, I hope that the Covid Pictures archive will be useful to humanity, society and history around the world in the future.
New: Short documentary series “Tokyo 2020” (14 photos)
“You keep that,” said my dad. It was a copper medal commemorating the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, which were held before I was born. He told me that the start of shinkansen rail serviceswas timed to coincide with the Games, and thatsales of the colour TV sets that replaced black and white ones went through the roof. The second Tokyo Olympics was planned to take place56 years after the first, in 2020. But the Covid-19 pandemic broke out at the start of the year, and the Games were rescheduled for 2021. The global coronaviruscrisis remained unresolved, however, and cities in Europe and America went into lockdown. In Japan, where the law does not allow lockdowns, states of emergency were repeatedly declared in the major cities. In April 2021, Tachikawa Sougo General Hospital, a medical facility in one ofTokyo’ssuburbs, postedmessages in its windows warning that it was at the limit of its capacity to treat patients and calling for the Olympics to be cancelled. At present, with three months to go before the Games are due to start, the majority of Japanese citizens are still unvaccinated, while the Japanese government’s line is that the Olympics will go ahead.
This short documentary series is intended to allow us in future to look back on the once-in-a-lifetime year of the planned Tokyo Olympics. I plan to submit these photographs to Covid Pictures, a photo archive project created by Oregon, USA-based artist Jennifer Timmer Trail.
Translated by Michael Normoyle and Yoshiko Furuhashi at M&Y Translations (Buckingham, UK)