The postponed Tokyo Olympics have been cursed by nonsensical organizer decisions, rampant firings, and rumors of anti-sex beds which aren’t actually anti-sex beds. Oh, and there’s still a state of emergency in Japan due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Hey, at least Naomi Osaka is there to bless everyone with her presence!
I was partially delighted to learn that the Olympics opening ceremony deployed video game music from popular Japanese RPGs, like some of my favorites: Chrono Trigger, Nier Automata, and more mainstream fare like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda. But the main event was Naomi Osaka’s lighting of the Olympic Cauldron, which is an aesthetically fascist tradition dating back to 1928 but solidified in 1936 at the Berlin Summer Olympics, best known as the Nazi Olympics. No shade to Osaka, though, whose appearance at the ceremony comes after she stood her ground against press harassment and racism in the tennis establishment earlier this year.
The cauldron lighting was a bright spot in a ceremony already overshadowed by news of mass firings within the Olympic organizing staff, for reasons ranging from bullying to sexism to “comedy sketches” mocking the Holocaust. And, you know, the pandemic
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