“Witches of the Orient” match to be shown for first time since 1964

On October 23, 1964, during the Tokyo Olympics, Japan and the Soviet Union contended for gold in women’s volleyball. In a stunning victory, Japan won 3-0 in a match which still retains the highest ratings for a sports program in Japanese history at 66.8%. The Western press referred to the slightly-built but skillful Japanese team as the Witches of the Orient.

Although broadcast by NHK, it was standard practice at the time to re-record over the expensive tapes used to record television programming, and it was long thought that nothing but highlights of the match remained. Recently, however, NHK has discovered a sports lover in possession of recordings that had been broadcast live overseas during the match. The match will now be broadcast for the first time in full since the Tokyo Olympics on BS1 on January 2, 9 p.m.

Source: http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1122/TKY201211211071.html

2 thoughts on ““Witches of the Orient” match to be shown for first time since 1964

  1. In 1965 or 1966 I viewed a film in Los Angeles, CA that was done in Japanese with english subtitles. It was a full length movie shown for two weeks in a theatre. It was about the training of the women’s volleyball team for Japan. The movie covered the team, the coach, the factory that the women lived and trained. It covered the years leading up to and including the winning of the gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. I would like to know the name of the film and where I can buy a copy. It was a great film for those of us on earth that train to win from the hardships leading to victory.

    Thank you,
    Gordon Cooper

  2. Matthew Olson,
    I am sorry I did not leave my e mail address for contact. It is coopgl@me.com. Please contact me if you are able to find the film on the Japanese Women’s Volleyball Team Story which was made into a film that I viewed while I was in college in Los Angeles, CA . My best memory was that it was in the fall of either 1965 or 1966. I viewed it at a theatre called La Brea Theatre in Los Angeles. It was in Japanese but with english subtitles. Please let me know if the film exists. Thanks,
    Gordon Cooper, coopgl@me.com

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