POSTED: April 26th 2016

Traditional Japanese Motif inspired design chosen as Official Tokyo 2020 Emblems

Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Emblems © Tokyo 2020
Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Emblems © Tokyo 2020

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The "Harmonized Chequered Emblems," have been officially named the emblems of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Both the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee and the public held this design in high regard due to its representation of the spirit of the Tokyo 2020 Vision and for exemplifying not only the city of Tokyo but all of Japan.

Throughout history, chequered patterns have been popular in various countries around the globe. In the Edo period (1603-1867), the pattern became formally known as "ichimatsu moyo," in Japan. The emblem's chequered design expresses sophistication and elegance through the use of the traditional Japanese color of indigo blue. The emblem is made up of three varieties of rectangular shapes, which represents different ways of thinking, countries, and cultures. Thus the message of "Unity in Diversity," was brought forward and will aid the Olympics in promoting the Games as a platform that can connect the world.  

Over the past seven months, the public has been actively engaged in the open competition for a new design, which was the first ever in Olympic history. The look for a new emblem design started with 14,599 entries from all over the world that was whittled down to four. The Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee received opinions from 1,804 postcards and 39,712 members of the public online. In the end, Asao Tokolo's design was selected by the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee and submitted to the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board for final approval.

"Since September last year, it has been a great honor and privilege to chair the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee, and to work with my fellow committee members. I am extremely grateful to all members of the committee for their outstanding efforts over the past seven months. From today, these emblems will serve as the face of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I very much hope that the emblems will prove popular with people everywhere, and we look forward to your continued support towards the Tokyo 2020 Games," expressed Chair of the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee, Ryohei Miyata.

Tokyo 2020 President, Yoshiro Mori; International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President and Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020, John Coates;  IOC member and Vice-Chair of IOC Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020, Alex Gilady; Governor of Tokyo, Yoichi Masuzoe; Japanese Paralympic Committee Chairman of the Board, Mitsunori Torihara; International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board member, Miguel Sagarra; and IOC member and Japanese Olympic Committee President, Tsunekazu Takeda attended the emblem unveiling ceremony in Tokyo.

Tokolo along with the three runner-up designers Chie Fujii, Kozue Kuno, and Takaaki Goto received an award during the ceremony. Tokolo currently lives in Tokyo and is an architecture graduate of Tokyo Zokei University. The active artist has some of his works featured in several Japan exhibitions.

Coates stated, "The new Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 emblem symbolizes important elements of the Tokyo 2020 Games vision and the underlying concepts of achieving personal best, unity in diversity and connecting to tomorrow. I congratulate the Tokyo 2020 team for the inclusive process that led to this selection. The public engagement in the selection process is another sign of growing interest in the 2020 Games. Interest and excitement will continue to build, in Japan and globally, after the official handoff to Tokyo 2020 at the close of the upcoming Olympic Games Rio 2016. The Tokyo 2020 emblem will become a familiar symbol to people around the world."

"I would like to congratulate the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee on the launch of this Paralympic emblem which, over the coming years, will become synonymous with high-performance sport and promoting societal change. I would like to thank the 14,599 people who originally submitted designs, the Japanese public for sharing their opinions on the final shortlist of four and the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee for their efforts in selecting the final Olympic and Paralympic emblems. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games emblem is something that will be fully embraced, not just by the people of Japan and Asia, but by citizens around the world. The Paralympic Games are the world's number one sporting event for driving social inclusion and this emblem not only conveys the qualities and traditions of Japan but the excellence of the Para athletes we can expect to see competing in Tokyo in four years' time," commented Sagarra.

"It is my most earnest wish that the winning emblems, which have been selected from among almost 15,000 design entries, will receive wide acclaim as the symbols of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games," concluded President Mori.

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · Tokyo 2020 · Olympics · Paralympics · Olympic Games · Japan · Tokyo

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