From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Expo '70 was a World's Fair held in Suita, Osaka, Japan between March 15 and September 13, 1970. The theme of the Expo was "Progress and Harmony for Mankind." This was the first World's Fair held in Japan. Seventy-seven countries attended the event and, within six months, the number of visitors reached 64,210,000 people. In Japanese Expo '70 is often referred to as Ōsaka Banpaku. This fair was one of the largest and best attended expositions in history.
Like the 1964 Summer Olympics, Expo '70 was a success and served as a symbol of the extremely rapid development of Japan in the 1960s. It was held in Suita, a suburb of Osaka. When it was chosen as the site for the event, it was a rural district covered with bamboo forest. For Expo '70 infrastructure was created and the surrounding area was developed. The site for the world fair was planned by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange.
A popular highlight of the fair was a large moon rock on display in the United States' pavilion. It had been brought back from the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts in 1969. Expo '70 also saw the premiere of the first-ever IMAX film: the Canadian-produced Tiger Child for the Fuji Group pavilion. The Expo also featured demonstrations of early mobile phones, local area networking and maglev train technology.
The site of Expo '70 is now Expo Memorial Park. Almost all pavilions were demolished, and there remain some memorials a part of the roof structure for Festival Place designed by Kenzo Tange. Among a few still-intact pieces, the most famous one is the Tower of the Sun designed by the Japanese artist Okamoto Taro. The former international art museum pavilion designed by Kiyoshi Kawasaki was used as the building for the National Museum of Art, Osaka (moved to downtown Osaka in November 2004) until March 2004.
Additionally, there is a time capsule that is to be left for 5,000 years and opened in the year 6970. The capsule has been donated by the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. This World's Fair concept first originated and started with the two Westinghouse Time Capsules which are to be opened in 6939.
In popular culture
- Expo '70 is mentioned in the Japanese manga Template:Nihongo by Naoki Urasawa. In the manga, the Expo is recalled many times and the Tower of the Sun plays a role. It also features heavily in the anime Shinchan: The Adult Empire Strikes Back where it is used to represent the nostalgia people feel for the 20th century.
- Expo '70 is the setting for the Daiei Motion Picture Company production of Noriaki Yuasa's Gamera vs. Jiger (1970), which was extensively filmed on location at the Expo grounds. The final battle between the monsters takes place at the Expo site. The film was marketed overseas as Monsters Invade Expo '70.
- Expo '70 plays a major role in the ninth movie of the Crayon Shin Chan anime.