The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) have shortlisted three mascot design sets – each containing one mascot for the Paralympic Games and one for the Olympic Games. It comes following a review of 2,042 entries submitted by the public during a recent competition.
The shortlisted designs were unveiled by pupils at a ceremony at their public elementary school in the centre of the capital.
From 11 December to 22 February 2018, 6.5 million schoolchildren at every elementary school across the country will be given the opportunity to review the shortlisted designs, with their classes casting a single vote in favour of one of the sets. International schools in Japan, as well as Japanese schools overseas, will be included in the voting process.
The mascot design set receiving the highest number of classroom votes will be announced as the winner on 28 February, shortly after the Closing Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games.
The Mascot Selection Panel will then decide names for the winning mascots, and the official Games Mascots will formally debut in July or August 2018.
Ryohei Miyata, Tokyo 2020 Mascot Selection Panel chairperson commented: “I am really excited that we are getting closer to unveiling our official mascots. We decided to encourage children to participate in the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games by having them select the mascots, as our children represent a future that Tokyo 2020 wants to embody through the Games. We hope that many schools and classes will take this opportunity to help shape the Games.”
Mascots are a popular element of modern Japanese culture. Tokyo 2020 aims to create mascots that embody Tokyo 2020's branding vision, "innovation from harmony", which implies that innovation will occur when the old and the new of Tokyo and Japan come together in harmony.