‘Sad, lonely feeling’: Tokyo gentleman evicted two times, 50 many years apart, for Olympic design

TOKYO (Reuters) – When Kohei Jinno was evicted from his spouse and children residence to distinct the way for the development of the Nationwide Stadium for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, he was unfortunate but proud to add to Japan in a second of nationwide triumph.

Kohei Jinno, 87, who was pressured to leave his property two instances ahead of the 1964 and 2020 Olympics Video games to make way for construction of the key stadium, walks around the National Stadium, the most important stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Game titles that have been postponed to 2021 because of to the coronavirus sickness (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan June 24, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

But when he was evicted once more in 2013, at age 80, so the government could rebuild the stadium for the 2020 Games, it felt like a bitter twist of fate designed even worse by what he noticed as formal indifference.

It also pressured him and his spouse, Yasuko, out of a limited-knit public housing neighborhood in the Kasumigaoka neighbourhood where they’d lived for around fifty percent a century.

“It was so really hard to leave,” stated Jinno, now 87. “It was the position I’d lived the longest in my everyday living.”

Jinno hadn’t desired the Olympics in Japan – pondering it also quickly to host all over again – and said the announcement that approximately 200 people, several aged, had been staying evicted from their housing elaborate in the shadow of the stadium came from nowhere.

“There wasn’t any thing to consider. If there’d only been one particular instance of ‘you’re currently being asked to transfer, could you remember to perhaps cooperate?’” Jinno claimed. “Instead, it was fairly a lot ‘we’re possessing the Olympics, you need to get out.’”

They moved to a different general public housing intricate, but the previous local community was shattered.

“I would definitely have appreciated some knowing of how we felt,” Jinno stated. “We got 170,000 yen ($1,500). What can you do with that? I just had to snicker. It took 1 million yen ($9,000) to transfer.”

A Tokyo city formal mentioned 170,000 yen is common payment in that condition.

“We’re properly trained to be really well mannered, there is public housing nearby, and officers devised many preparations,” he extra, declining to be named simply because he was not authorised to speak to the media. “But to any person who’d lived there a extensive time, officials likely did look chilly.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympic organisers declined to comment, noting that the stadium is the obligation of the Japan Sport Council (JSC) and the relocation was handled by the Tokyo authorities in accordance with their laws. The JSC explained the relocation was accomplished in session with the Tokyo and national governments.


Jinno, the fourth of 9 brothers, was born in Kasumigaoka, not far from what is now the posh Omotesando area in downtown Tokyo. After that residence burned in Globe War Two, the loved ones moved 20 metres away, in which Jinno ran a tobacco store attached to the family members home.

In advance of the 1964 Olympics, they have been evicted to make way for the stadium and a encompassing park. The website of their residence was paved over, the greenery that blanketed the space slash down, and a close by river buried in concrete.

Jinno washed cars to make finishes meet up with, residing with Yasuko and their two youngsters in one little space. But in 1965 he moved into the community housing sophisticated and re-opened the tobacco store.

“I under no circumstances ran out of men and women to talk to,” he stated. “I put a bench out, a few or 4 men and women could sit. Little ones would come by with their research, request for assistance if they got in difficulty.”

Following their eviction notice in 2013, they moved in 2016.

The move was tricky, significantly on Yasuko, who Jinno mentioned was “lonely, frustrated.” Late in 2018, at 84, she died.

Now living with his son in western Tokyo, Jinno visits the aged neighbourhood every several months.

Throughout from the gleaming new stadium, and just uphill from the site of his now-wrecked former dwelling, is a compact park with a set of Olympic rings where website visitors pose and smile for pictures.

Even with the effects of the Online games on his existence, he hopes they be successful, and is saddened that the pandemic has subdued the high spirits that would usually encompass them.

But going to the area, modified as it is, would make his heart pound.

“I consider that I was born below, I was lifted here,” he explained. “When I search at the trees together the street that haven’t altered at all, I sense nostalgic but at the very same time overflowing with a unhappy, lonely feeling.”

Reporting by Elaine Lies. Enhancing by Gerry Doyle