And we have it. Confirmation that Perfume were supposed to be a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony.

So, it turns out that Perfume were a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony all along | Random J Pop

One of the worst kept secrets of the Tokyo COVIDlympics is that Perfume would be a part of the opening ceremony. The fandom had pretty much confirmed amongst themselves that Perfume would be. And in their defence, there was A LOT of substantial things leading to them doing so.

However, hopes of Perfume appearing on the world stage were dashed when one of the opening ceremony's creative forces Mikiko Mizuno, who is also Perfume's choreographer, announced her resignation from this position. Mikiko didn't spill on specifics. But putting pieces together between the widely reported turmoil within the Olympics committee and what Mikiko did say, all seem to point to higher-ups not knowing what the fuck they're doing, and old Japanese men being trash. From Tokyo Olympic Chief Yoshiro Mori making sexist remarks, to Tokyo Olympic Creative Director Hiroshi Sasaki being fatphobic, and reshuffles effectively forcing Mikiko out of her role. And if Mikiko ain't having anything to do with it, then Perfume ain't having anything to do with it.

But a document which was submitted in April of 2020 had leaked and was published by Japanese news site Bunshun, which was a pretty concise outline of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony - which included Daichi Miura, Naomi Watanabe (who Tokyo Olympic Creative Director referred to as the OlymPig), Super Mario (who featured in the Rio hand over ceremony which Mikiko had also creative directed). And to no fans' surprise, Perfume were also included.

So, it turns out that Perfume were a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony all along | Random J Pop
Image courtesy of

Something to note however, is that the document was just a draft. Just because Perfume are listed in it should not be taken as confirmation they were set to appear. But given there were so many things lining up alluding to Perfume performing at the opening ceremony, it's hard not to take it as a given that Perfume 100% were planned to be a part of it. Also, it'd be pretty strange to include Perfume in such an official document unless they were locked in.

The validity of the document is also bolstered by other creative factors adjacent to the Olympics, such as fashion brand AMBUSH's latest Nike collaboration, which is in homage to Akira and Tetsuo's famed motorcycle and biker look - as Neo Tokyo was something that the opening ceremony was supposed to be based around.

So, it turns out that Perfume were a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony all along | Random J Pop
Image courtesy of

From the looks of the document, the setup involving Perfume is very reminiscent of their performance of "Story" during their 2015 3:6:5:9 gig, where the ladies were elevated high up on a podium frozen like mannequins. A moment that gives me anxiety every time I watch it, because Perfume were not in harnesses and were not on wires, despite being up so high.

Perfume performing "Story" @ 3:6:5:9 | Random J Pop

Whilst it's easy to blame the pandemic for the opening ceremony being so scaled back, and I completely understand how it would affect it, I don't think the pandemic alone was the reason why the opening ceremony was so stale. The reshuffles on the Tokyo Olympics committee clearly had th ebiggest affect - resulting in the most central voices who were a part of the creative process from the beginning being undermined and pushed aside - with no consideration of the cascading effect it would have: i.e no Mikiko, no Perfume.

It felt like every other week people were dropping out. If anything, the pandemic would have made the talent involved more determined to make the opening ceremony great and instil a sense of pride and hope to Japan and the world beyond. Also, being a part of the Olympics in any capacity is a huge deal career wise. You're making history. Nobody would willingly pull out of being a part of the opening ceremony unless they had every reason to. Having your vision be compromised, your role completely be diminished despite proving your worth, and having a man call you a pig feel like very legitimate reasons to me.

It's a real shame that folk got in the way of things, and didn't just allow people to do their jobs - something that I'm sure many of us can sympathise with. Lots of people in positions of seniority feel they know what's best, abuse their power, and exercise their ability to change things on a whim. The end result in these situation is always something which is so far off from the great thing it could have been had they the powers that be just let the people who were there to do a job, just do the damn job. I think we can all agree that the opening ceremony was as a really lacklustre affair, and this document is salt on a wound. Especially for Akira, Perfume, Mikiko, Elevenplay and Nintendo fans. Especially after seeing what Mikiko pulled off for the handover ceremony at the Rio Olympics back in 2016, with a section which was Perfume AS HELL.

The whole situation also stinks of how Japan often gets in the way of itself. The opening ceremony was a chance for Japan to really put itself on the world stage and create a new narrative for Japan. And in comparison to opening ceremony's of the past, they didn't do that. And as a result of ill judgements, dumb comments and stupid decisions, the opening ceremony didn't deliver on what it was supposed to be. Instead we're all here talking about what it could have been.


I guess we can look forward to Perfume's Polygon Wave gig on August 14 and 15 to give us a taste of what we coulda gotten for the opening ceremony. Although, after the spectacles we've seen from them in the past, we already been knew exactly what we woulda gotten, and that every wig would have been in peril.