Tokyo 2020 Bid Leaders Reveal New Cherry Blossom Logo

December 1, 2011

Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic bid leaders have unveiled a new logo in the form of a cherry blossom Wednesday.

The colorful, wreath-shaped logo of Japan’s most celebrated flower was created by a university art and design student to symbolize ‘revitalization’.

Bid committee CEO Masato Mizuno told Reuters: “Along with Mount Fuji, the cherry blossom is instantly recognizable as a symbol of Japan. We learned many lessons last time round and we must be ready this time.”

Tokyo, which hosted Asia’s first Olympics in 1964, lost out to Rio de Janeiro in the race for 2016.

Low public support was largely blamed and the cost of rebuilding after the devastating tsunami in northeast Japan had thrown preparations for a renewed tilt in a spin.

However, the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) decided in June that sufficient funds existed to launch a new bid despite the nuclear crisis still raging at the time.

“Japan is struggling (to rebuild) and I wanted to come up with something to give Japan energy and vitality,” designer Ai Shimamine told reporters after unveiling her logo.

“I hope it gives Japan a boost. The cherry blossom represents friendship and peace, has a softness and also holds a special place in the hearts of Japanese people.”

Tokyo’s logo features the Olympic colors of red, blue, yellow and green dotted with the traditional purple prominent in cultural events in Japan’s Edo period (1603-1867).

Madrid, which also lost out in the 2016 bidding war, and Rome are expected to give Tokyo a run for its money.

The winner will be chosen by the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires in September 2013.