You Can Now Buy Seats From A Demolished Japanese Olympic Stadium

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As if Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium situation wasn’t already weird enough, it just got a little weirder: you can now purchase collector’s chairs made from the demolished seating of the city’s previous stadium.
(Photo : Karimoku)

Let’s be honest: at this point, it’s pretty clear that Japan’s plans for a new Olympic stadium haven’t exactly worked out as they’d hoped.

For those who don’t know, Tokyo officials recently canceled their plans for an extremely expensive new stadium, one that would be built in time for the 2020 Olympic Games, which run from July 24 – Aug. 9, 2020. Plans started to go awry almost instantaneously: not only would the stadium cost billions to construct, but most Tokyo citizens absolutely hated the bizarre, turtle-shell design. But that wasn’t even the worst of it.

Before construction could begin, the stadium needed somewhere to go – it’s not as if you can simply put a stadium wherever you please. The thing is, Tokyo already had a stadium – in fact, it was a stadium built for the 1964 Olympic Games, one that many felt was a historic landmark. So, naturally, it was demolished for an ugly, expensive stadium that no one really wanted in the first place.

If there’s any good news to come of all this, it’s that the Japanese furniture company Karimoku managed to save roughly 700 of the 1964 stadium’s seats, and is now selling them as minimalist chairs:

Available in three distinct varieties, the chairs are a bit more expensive than most people would assume: even the basic variation (called the ‘Tokyo Stool) will cost you 32,400 yen, or approximately $262. From there, it only gets more expensive: the ‘Pony Stool,’ which is most like a regular chair, runs for 43,200 yen ($350), while the double-seated Kokuritsu bench costs 54,000 yen (approximately $436).

While it’s great that Karimoku was able to save so much of the seating, stool-like chairs usually don’t cost more than $200, especially chairs that are built with tiny, hard-plastic stadium seats. Preserving something like this is a noble gesture, but that price tag may be a bit heftier than some people are comfortable with.

Then again, these are collector’s items: with only 700 seats in total, there are only so many chairs availble. Plus, for many Tokyo residents, this may be the only way to remember a stadium that helped define their city for more than half a century.

If you happen to read Japanese (or just really want a few of those chairs), you can buy a set of the seats from Karimoku’s online shop.


Photo: Johnny | Spoon Tomago

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