Tokyo 2020 Seeks Public Input On Four New Emblem Designs

Four Shortlisted Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Emblems (Tokyo 2020)
Four Shortlisted Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Emblems (Tokyo 2020)

[See poll following article below] In the Japanese capital Friday the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee unveiled four new potential emblem designs from thousands submitted and is seeking public input before it confirms a final choice April 25.

Tokyo 2020 is inviting comments about the Olympic and Paralympic logo designs from the general public by either postcard or online at a special Website at before the April 17 deadline.

Last year the organizing committee released an official logo that was subsequently withdrawn after it was found that it may infringe upon another similar but unrelated corporate logo even after it was diligently vetted.  By seeking feedback on four final candidates, any possible infringement or other issues may be identified before a final choice is made.

The winning entrant will receive a special invitation to attend the Opening Ceremonies of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

A statement released by the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee explained “since the deadline for applications last December, we have implemented a series of format and design checks on all entries, and have received the cooperation of design experts during the design checks.”

“We have also undertaken both domestic and international trademark verification procedures. Throughout this process, the members of the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee have conducted a series of intensive discussions and careful selections, and we have finally whittled down the original 14,599 entries to a final shortlist of four outstanding designs.”

The Emblems Selection Committee directed entrants to embrace seven key concepts in their designs:  the Power of Sport, “Japanese-ness” and “Tokyo-ness”, World Peace, Personal Best and Utmost Efforts, Sense of Unity and Inclusion, Innovation and Future-Oriented, Reconstruction and the Power to Rise Up.

The four sets of shortlisted emblem designs and official descriptions are below.  Please vote in our poll following.

A- Harmonized Chequered Emblems
Chequered patterns have been popular in many countries around the world throughout history. In Japan, the chequered pattern became formally known as “ichimatsu moyo” in the Edo period (1603–1867), and this chequered design in the traditional Japanese colour of indigo blue expresses a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan. Composed of three varieties of rectangular shapes, the design represents different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. It incorporates the message of “unity in diversity.” It also expresses that the Olympic and Paralympic Games seek to promote diversity as a platform to connect the world.



B- Connecting Circle, Expanding Harmony
This design expresses the connection between the dynamism of the athletes and the joy of the spectators, and the expansion of peace and harmony throughout the world. It seeks to encompass mental and physical strength, dynamic movement and speed, and the euphoric emotions that the world derives from outstanding athletic performances. The design also conveys the respect and warm hospitality that will be accorded to visitors from around the world to the Tokyo 2020 Games.


C- Surpassing One’s Personal Best
These emblems were inspired by the traditional Wind God and the Thunder God, and seek to convey dynamic movement at the instant an athlete breaks the tape on the finish line. They also represent athletes as they endeavour to attain and surpass their personal best. The Wind God and the Thunder God have been much loved by the people of Japan for centuries (e.g. the famous painting by the early 17th century Japanese artist Tawaraya Sotatsu, and the statues of these Gods at the Kaminari-mon Gate in Tokyo’s Asakusa district). In the original depiction, the taiko drums held by the Thunder God are represented by fireworks, while the Wind Cloth held by the Wind God is replaced by the portrayal of a rainbow to symbolise the concepts of peace, diversity and harmony. The emblems also express the athletes’ continued contribution to peace through their mental and physical tenacity, and a connection to the future.


D- Flowering of Emotions
The morning glory flower, as it faces up towards the heavens to greet the new morning, expresses the faces of athletes striving to attain a personal best and the bright faces of people as they applaud the athletes. The upward-looking morning glory also represents the climax of this range of emotions. The seed of the morning glory sprouts, the vine grows, and the flower opens – the process of the flower growing and eventually returning to seed conveys the sense of expectation for the Games and succession to the next generation. This flower was particularly popular during Japan’s Edo period (1603–1867), and remains a firm favourite (e.g. as subject for “Ukiyoe” prints). It signifies a heightened sense of anticipation towards the 2020 Games and the warm welcome that visitors from around the world will receive.


Which of the four Tokyo 2020 shortlisted Olympic and Paralympic emblem designs do you prefer?

  • B - Connecting Circle, Expanding Harmony (37%)
  • D - Flowering of Emotions (31%)
  • A - Harmonized Chequered Emblems (25%)
  • C - Surpassing One’s Personal Best (7%)

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A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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