In 1971 NHK went around Tokyo documenting scenes of everyday life. The footage shows a vibrant city full of hope and possibility. From children checking out at Mazinger Z toys in a Ginza department store to advertisements for Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury at the Nichigeki theater, it’s a time warp to an age when the capital was booming. Cars aren’t the focus of the hour-long film but they pop in and out of the many street scenes, making us drool over brand-new Mazda Savanna RX-3s and Nissan Bluebird 510s.
The title of the film is Tokyo Landscapes 1971-1980, but judging by the cars the majority of the footage is from 1971-72. In some ways it’s almost quaint, like when a ribbon cutting ceremony is held for some new parking meters being installed (14:14); good luck finding one today! Other automotive glimpses include scenes of the Shuto (2:39), an advertising display for the brand new Hakosuka Skyline (7:58), Nissan Cedric and Toyota Crown taxis queueing at Shinjuku Station (28:10), boys gawking at a Dino 246 GTS (55:37), and a visit with the bosozoku (59:13).
It’s a peek into a time that most of us never got to experience and provides context for so many of the cars we love. Seeing the environment from which they sprouted gives us a better appreciation for, say, how mind-blowing a Fairlady Z432 would have been in period. Also, we hope that RX-3 owner got their car back.