The winning designs were officially unveiled on 28 February 2018 by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020), after elementary school pupils across Japan and at Japanese schools overseas chose their favourites from a shortlist of three sets of designs.
The winning designs came from 43-year-old Ryo Taniguchi, a graphic designer from Fukuoka, in southern Japan. His characters – dark blue for the Olympic Games and cherry blossom pink for the Paralympic Games – strove to combine traditional values with a futuristic looks, encapsulating the “innovation from harmony” concept which is at the heart of the branding vision for Tokyo 2020.
The children selected two mascots that embody both ancient tradition and new innovation. Ryohei MiyataChair of the Mascot Selection Panel - Ryohei MiyataChair of the Mascot Selection Panel
The Mascot Selection Panel will choose names for the winning mascots in the near future, before they make their official debut in July or August 2018.
205,755 classes at 16,769 schools took part in the vote, with the winning Design Set A receiving 109,041 votes. Design Set B attracted 61,423 votes and Design Set C received 35,291.
Innovation from harmony
“The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games finally have their mascots,” said Ryohei Miyata, chair of the Mascot Selection Panel. “I cannot wait to see these two characters coming to life in the stadiums, on the streets and on TV. The children selected two mascots that embody both ancient tradition and new innovation.
“I believe this is an excellent choice since Tokyo 2020's branding vision is ‘Innovation from harmony’, which implies that innovation will occur when the old and the new of Tokyo and Japan come together.”
The results were announced in front of around 600 children at one of the participating schools, Hoyonomori Gakuen School in Tokyo, and was live-streamed to allow children all over the country to share the moment and discover the winner in real time.
Get set for the Games
The mascot voting process was part of Tokyo 2020’s nationwide educational programme called “Yoi Don!" (“Get Set”), which sets out to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games into schools across Japan and allows students to participate in educational initiatives linked to the Games. By encouraging discussion of the mascots in classes, the voting process helped children learn about the values of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.
The winning mascots will also feature prominently on a new educational website (https://education.tokyo2020.org/) launched by Tokyo 2020 on 28 February, which is targeted specifically at children, students and teaching staff at schools across Japan.
Initially in Japanese only (an English language version is due to be launched in March 2018), the site will feature interactive activities for children, including free online English lessons and news about the Tokyo 2020 Games, as well as Olympic and Paralympic educational materials for teachers.
The overall aim will be to get schoolchildren involved with the Games, learning more about the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, and participating more in sport.