A Tale of Technology: Kenzo Tange’s 1964 Yoyogi National Gymnasium and the Japanese Economic Miracle

Japan’s initial success after the Second World War had a lot to do with the copying of Western technology. The economic miracle of the 1960s, however, rested on Japanese firms’ ever-increasing capability to innovate. The world was to get a taste of this when thousands of spectators visited Tokyo for the 1964 Olympic Games. Kenzo Tange’s Gymnasium provided a central venue of great symbolic power.


All photos by Manuel Oka (www.manueloka.com)

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Former Iranian Embassy

I have been living in D.C. for a good eight months now, and make a habit of zooming down Embassy Row when cycling into the centre. I always pass this abandoned building on my left, just a little past the British Embassy and its waving Winston Churchill statue. Why did I only find out yesterday that this is the former Iranian Embassy?

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The Hotel Okura’s Last Days: History in the Unmaking

It is hard to conjure up a hotel building more emblematic than the Hotel Okura in Tokyo. In contrast to the Japanese avant-garde architecture of its days and the faceless corporate behemoths that came to dominate the city in the 1970s and ‘80s, this 1962 building synthesises traditional Japanese features with modernist architecture.


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