Tokyo 2020 unveil floral Olympic bid logo
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
November 30 - Tokyo 2020 has turned to Japan's traditional flower, the cherry blossom, to help it win the right to stage the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in just under nine years' time.
The city's bid committee has chosen a multicoloured, circular arrangement of the blossoms, known as sakura, as its bid logo.
Speaking at an unveiling ceremony in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, a "delighted" Tsunekazu Takeda, Tokyo 2020 President, said that the logo "symbolises the concepts of friendship, peace, eternity, happiness and unity, concepts that we hold most dear".
It was in the form of a flower that "in itself, is an internationally recognised symbol of Japan".
A competition to submit logo designs for the bid was opened to young art and design students, with the winner – Ai Shimamine, a fourth-year student at the Joshibi University of Art and Design – selected by a panel of judges.
In conceiving the design, Shimamine sought advice from Kunio Hisada, art director at GK Graphics.
Each spring, a spectacular wave of cherry blossoms – the sakura zensen – sweeps from the south along the entire length of Japan, from Okinawa to Hokkaido.
As author Will Ferguson has written in his travel book Hokkaido Highway Blues, "When the cherry blossoms hit, they hit like a hurricane.
"Nowhere on earth does spring arrive as dramatically as it does in Japan."
Tokyo is widely expected to mount a stronger challenge for the Games than it did in 2016, when it finished third behind winner Rio de Janeiro and Madrid.
This time the opposition comes from Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid (again) and Rome.
November 2011: Japanese Prime Minister called up to boost public support for Tokyo Olympic bid
September 2011: Tokyo announce lead role for Masato Mizuno in 2020 Olympic bid
September 2011: Tokyo favourites for the 2020 Olympics, Doha outsiders - according to bookies
July 2011: Tokyo Governor says he expects to "win" as he officially launches bid for 2020 Olympics
June 2011: Plan to make Japanese Olympic Committee President IOC member will boost Tokyo 2020 bid