Official 1964 Tokyo Olympics torch, consisting of a blackened aluminum alloy bowl and a stainless steel cylinder, measuring 25.5″ in length and 6.75″ at its widest point. Manufactured by Nippon Light Metal Co., the bowl is engraved “XVII Olympiad Tokyo 1964” with a set of Olympic rings, and the lower portion of the cylinder bears the Tokyo Games logo and reads “Showa Kaseihin Co., Ltd., 3-1964.” Some scattered soiling and nicks to cylinder, with a small dent to lower portion. Complete with its original torch holder box, which features considerable wear.
Included is a bronze Olympic Cup plaquette issued by the International Olympic Committee, struck by Swiss medal manufacturer Huguenin, with front showing a relief image of the Olympic Cup, and the reverse bearing the Olympic rings with raised text in French below, reading (transcribed): “The Olympic Cup created by Baron Pierre de Coubertin renovator of the Olympic Games of the modern era was awarded to Tokyo city.” The plaquette is accompanied by its original brown presentation case.
Also included is a three-button blue blazer by Toyo Rayon, likely size large, with left chest bearing embroidered patch of the 1964 Summer Games, gold-tone buttons bearing same Tokyo Olympic logo, and manufacturer’s label sewn into right chest area. A pair of gray slacks by Tetoron Marvelt accompanies the blazer.
The Olympic torch was carried for 51 days by 870 runners for a total of 26,065 kilometers. Designed on the principle of the coal-mine safety lamp, the Tokyo Olympic torch was filled with priming powder and fumigant, a two-component ignition material that needed to be wind and rain resistant, and which could both easily ignite and extinguish. Its effect was similar to that of a flare, and it proved a safe and reliable instrument over the course of its hemisphere-trotting relay. Although a typhoon and various plane issues caused a one-day delay late in the schedule, the triumphant final relay by Yoshinori Sakai through Tokyo’s National Olympic Stadium on October 10, 1964, served as a defining moment for a still healing post-war Japan. This torch beautifully represents the moment the fifth ring of the Olympiad touched down on Asian soil. The Summer Olympics will again be in Tokyo in 2020, making it the first Asian city to host two Summer Games.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.