Tokyo 2020 mascots: Top 10 things to know

Here's everything you need to know about the official mascots of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games - Miraitowa and Someity.
By Shintaro Kano

Who are they? Where are they from? Meet Miraitowa and Someity, your official mascots of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, respectively.

Born 28 February, 2018

The mascots were chosen on this day by children from more than 16,000 Japanese elementary schools, domestic and abroad.

The process

Of the 205,755 total votes, Miraitowa and Someity - as they would later be called - drew 109,041 votes in a landslide victory from three finalists.

The design competition kicked off in August 2017. The 2,042 eligible applicants went through three screening phases before the three were shortlisted.

Designed by

The mascots were designed by Fukuoka-based illustrator Taniguchi Ryo.

Educated at a community college in California, Taniguchi was largely unknown before hitting the jackpot with Miraitowa and Someity.

The Japanese media have nicknamed him "Uncle Cinderella".

Inspired by

Both Miraitowa and Someity are embossed with chequered patterns, which is also used in the Tokyo 2020 official logo.

Chequered designs are centuries old in Japan, popularised during the Edo Period when the governing capital shifted from the West to the East of the country.

The mascots exist in unison, a yin-yang pair along a Tokyo theme, "old meets new".

Who named them

A jury of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, five months after the mascots came to life.

The names were among a list of 30 based on feedback from Taniguchi and 7,000 kids who were polled.

Miraitowa is the XXth Olympic mascot

Twenty-sixth, with the first one dating back to the Grenoble 1968 Olympic Games - Shuss.

Someity is the 18th Paralympic mascot.

What does Miraitowa mean

It's a combination of the Japanese words mirai, which means future, and towa which means eternity.

And Someity?

The name is also a hybrid of the words somei-yoshino - a type of cherry blossom - and the English phrase, so mighty.

What's Miraitowa's story?

Right here in this video:

What is Someity's story?

Here it is: