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The emblem presentation was the culmination of an inclusive process that attracted design proposals from around the world and welcomed opinions from the public. More than 40,000 people shared their views on the final four designs shortlisted by the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee from among 14,599 emblem entries.
The final selection, submitted by designer Asao Tokolo of Tokyo, was chosen by the Selection Committee and approved by the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board. Tokolo, who graduated in architecture from Tokyo Zokei University, is an active artist whose works have been featured in several exhibitions in Japan.
The chequered emblem, rendered in the traditional Japanese indigo blue, became formally known as “ichimatsu moyo” in the Edo period (1603-1868).
The circular pattern of varying rectangular shapes represents a coming together of different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. The message is in keeping with “unity in diversity,” one of the three concepts, along with “achieving personal best” and “connecting to tomorrow” that provide the foundation for Tokyo 2020’s Games vision.
IOC Vice-President John Coates, the Chair of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission, said, “The new Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 emblem symbolises important elements of the Tokyo 2020 Games vision. 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 hand-off to Tokyo 2020 at the close of the upcoming Olympic Games Rio 2016.”