Japan World’s Fair 2600

Kenneth J. Ruoff in Imperial Japan at Its Zenith did an in-depth study of the year 2600 (that’s 1940 to you Westerners) but neglected to mention the World’s Fair that Japan had planned for that year. It was to have been a grand affair on the Tokyo seaside, running from March 15 to August 31. But like the Japan Olympics planned for that year, World War II put a damper on things. This was all the more unfortunate because the World’s Fair committee had already begun raising funds for the event by selling 10-yen tickets, which equates to a large amount of money today, something like 50 to 100 US dollars.

A collective duty was felt that these tickets must not become useless– a duty which apparently extended beyond reasonable lengths of time. When the city of Osaka held its World Expo in 1970, organizers accepted tickets to the cancelled 1940 World’s Fair as permitting free entry to their own event! They didn’t even take the antiques, they just inspected them and gave them back with a complimentary entry ticket. And when Aichi held a World’s Fair in 2005, they did the same! Apparently as many as 90 tickets from 1940 were used to gain access to Aichi in 2005– to this, Japanese Wikipedia adds the obligatory disclaimer, “citation needed”.

The tickets now sell for over $200 on Yahoo Auctions, but that could be a bargain, depending on how many Japan World’s Fairs you and your descendants are planning on attending.

Posted: February 6th, 2012 | Japan