If you’ve been hiding under a rock and so completely unaware, the 2020 Summer Olympics will be taking place in Tokyo this year! Currently scheduled to kick off on July 24 and ending on August 9, there is currently a noise in the grapevine that suggests that it could be turned into a TV-only event or it may potentially be postponed to the end of the year due to certain circumstances.
Although we love to see a good backflip and watching folks in super tight leotards race each other, we can’t control the event schedule, but we can still have a good time predicting who might perform for the opening ceremony. At the time of writing, the official lineup has not yet been announced, so let’s have a good head scratch and see who we think might make the ceremony lineup.
Everybody’s Hollywood sweetheart MIYAVI has always been busy when it comes to international causes and projects. From representing Japan at the UNHRC, performing for a baseball game-opening, to showing his beautiful face on international films, let’s say he’s not a shy guy when it comes to representing his country. Did we also mention he’s the guitar samurai?
Another guitar hero on the list. A lot of people will know what the Kill Bill movie theme sounds like, even when they’ve not seen the film and that’s thanks to Tomoyasu Hotei, the guitarist who composed and performed this catchy piece. Titled Battle Without Honor or Humanity, this epic song with an even more so epic name is arguably his most famous piece, and we think he’d make a pretty darn good pick. Imagine the Olympics opening—Hotei on the stadium roof playing his heart out. Fireworks will fly up and light up the sky, obviously synced up to the DUN DUN DUN in the song, whilst the last torchbearer sweatily jogs into the stadium with a beaming smile on their face, waving to the crowd and their loved ones. Can you picture it? We certainly can.
Yoshiki (X Japan)
I mean, do we really need to explain? Yoshiki the charitable drummer come celebrity also was named Forbes Asia’s 30 Heroes of Philanthropy in 2019. Not sure how we missed that, but who would honestly be surprised if he made an appearance? Not us.
Jazz-rock band starring Shiina Ringo made a comeback early this year after a long eight-year break with a nationwide tour and the single Erabarezaru Kokumin, which translates to “the lower classes”. Most intriguing. Checking back on their activity, in 2014 the vocalist Shiina released Nippon for the NHK football (or soccer for our American friends) theme song so they’re not exactly new to the national sports event world. Two years after that, Shiina was selected to sit amongst the board of eight people who curated the closing ceremony for the Rio Olympics when they handed over to Japan, so could all these signs point to them being performers at the Tokyo Olympics this year? Feels as though there’s too much of a coincidence with their comeback, to be honest.
BABYMETAL is one of the leading reasons why the world was exposed to the weird side of the usually reserved Japan. Hooking up polar opposites of cute girls with the demonic turned out to be amazing like grapes and cheese, folks aboard in the metal community were left confused but impressed when the girls turned up at festivals including Glastonbury and multiple Download events. So far it’s only been the rock and metal fans who have been hit with the magic Kitsune wand, so let’s see how the rest of the world would react.
For those who have immersed themselves in Japanese pop culture for years, the much loved Hatsune Miku has been around for such a long time that she’s almost part of the furniture. On a global scale in terms of performance and popularity, whilst she was quickly picked up in other parts of Asia and then the US, it’s only recently in 2018 where she expanded to Europe and essentially began becoming a greater phenomenon on a worldwide scale. Whilst other continents have experienced her hologram shows, the European media is still not fully welcoming of it, however, the demand is real, so it’s no doubt Miku is beyond the small niche community she used to be. Performing on the Olympics stage seems to be the gradual, if not natural step for her.
Finally, when it comes to Japan, we know they love celebrating traditional values and forms of art so we’ve thrown in one of the modern-day Enka singers, Jero. America born with Japanese descent, he is the first black enka singer in Japanese music who is known for his unconventional hip hop fashion style as traditionally Enka singers will always wear a kimono. Dramatic yet elegant, we’d love to see Enka for the opening ceremony!
Aside from the above, we have some noteworthy mentions including AKB48 who could single-handed take up the center stage with the vast numbers and super talented Utada Hikaru who can sing in both Japanese and English. Some of you were probably waiting for us to mention Pikachu who’s featured in the picture at the top. Other guesses include Exile, Arashi, LiSA, HYDE, and last but not least, PERFUME who performed at Coachella last year.
Who do you think will be a performer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and what do you think of our speculated list? Let us know your guess in the comments below. Correct answers get a pat on the back.