Judo had always been a reliable provider of Olympic medals for Japan since the sport was first officially included in the 1964 Tokyo Games.
But that stability wavered four years ago at the London Olympics. For the first time ever, Japan's men failed to win a gold medal in any weight division.
Following the London Olympics, Kosei Inoue took over as head coach of the men's national team, a position that has always carried an unimaginable burden. But after the humiliating collapse in London, the pressure must have been even greater for Inoue.