This doesn’t bode well.

Mere days before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were set to kick off on 23 July, musician Keigo Oyamada’s shady past made the news and resulted in his resignation from the opening ceremony. Since then, the media smelled blood in the water and dug up some more dirt on the opening ceremony’s director Kentaro Kobayashi, over a past joke he made involving the Holocaust.

▼ The incident occurred in a 1998 comedy sketch in which Kobayashi said a pile of paper dolls were left over from “playing Holocaust.”

When the news came to light it led to a very swift dismissal of Kobayashi on 22 July. With the ceremony very fast approaching, it appears there was scant time to deliberate the matter.

Then, at abut noon the same day the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG) President Seiko Hashimoto announced that the entire opening ceremony would undergo an immediate review.

▼ You know what that means…

With slightly over 24 hours before the ceremony is set to go live, TOCOG will have to figure out what to do with it. The official removal of Kobayashi and Oyamada’s names from the ceremony was a foregone conclusion, but there likely isn’t any way to dissect their actual input from the show as a whole.

That being said, at this point it’s getting hard to not watch the ceremony and think about how it was made in part by a guy who fed feces to a disabled kid and a guy who joked abut the Holocaust on a children’s TV show. This presents a difficult dilemma.

Everything has been happening so fast, it’s been hard for netizens to register it all, but comments were still coming fast and furiously.

“What are you going to do? It’s tomorrow.”
“It’s a lost cause.”
“Oooh, I love a ticking clock.”
“Now this is getting interesting. I’m really looking forward to whatever they can improvise.”
“Looks like it’s going to be an all-nighter.”
“There’s no spectators, so why not no opening ceremony too.”
“They even had an extra year to get this all straight!!!”
“Just go for a minimalist opening ceremony, and focus efforts on a killer closing ceremony.”

Let this be a lesson in why it’s important to announce the staff of your Olympic ceremonies well in advance, so that the media can vet them early on. Really though, we should have learnt that when the whole logo debacle happened back in 2015.

Nevertheless, the show must go on, and it will be interesting to see what form it will take after all this. There is one part of me that dreams of former Prime Minister Abe somewhere in rural Japan happily installing a door knocker, only to have a military general approach him holding a red plumber’s cap and blue overalls, and telling him: “Sir, your country needs you.”

Source: Sponichi Annex, Saga Shimbun Live, Itai News
Top image: ©SoraNews24
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