Archive Feature

"Things were so tense the whole time." - When The Beatles Visited Japan

Extract from The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years

"Things were so tense the whole time, I felt like I was a war correspondent." - Shimpei Asai on documenting how the Japanese people greeted The Beatles when they visited Japan.

There had been a lot of controversy about the concert the band were to play in Tokyo in 1966, with commentators saying it would violate the venue - Budokan - which was devoted to the Japanese martial arts.

Watch this clip to see how these pressures played out and what the trip was like for the band who, as Jon Savage says in this excerpt, “Were a lightning rod for whatever was going on in the particular countries they visited. So in Japan, you had the problem of right wing extremists protesting the materialism of Western culture.”