Members of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee pose at a news conference in Tokyo Monday, at which they announced their plan to decide the Games’ official mascots by means of a national competition.
olympics

Tokyo 2020 launches mascot design competition

15 Comments

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) on Monday announced its plan to decide the Games’ official mascots by means of a national competition.

Members of the public in Japan will be invited to submit mascot design proposals, following which there will be an innovative judging process whereby elementary schoolchildren across the country will select the winning set of designs from a shortlist.

The Olympic and Paralympic mascots have become a much-loved feature of the Games, garnering attention from fans all over the world. They add to the excitement surrounding the Games, while also communicating the values of the Olympic and Paralympic movements and reflecting the culture of the host country.

The mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Games will therefore play a key role in introducing Japanese culture to the world. Mascots are also a popular element of modern Japanese culture, usually created to promote a particular region, event or business. They are often deployed by local governments or other organisations to stimulate tourism and economic development, or by companies to build on their corporate identity.

Anticipating public interest in the choice of mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Games, Tokyo 2020 set up a special panel last year to decide the process by which the mascots would be chosen. The panel met on numerous occasions and earlier this month submitted its recommendations, which have now been approved by Tokyo 2020. In addition to professional illustrators and designers, members of the public in Japan – including nonJapanese residing in the country – will be invited to submit their personal mascot designs through Japanese- and English-language websites.

A “creative brief” with a comprehensive set of design guidelines and criteria is being made available for applicants, who will be required to submit designs for both Olympic and Paralympic mascots. The Tokyo 2020 mascot review panel will select a shortlist from the submitted design sets.

In a unique twist to customary procedures, the shortlisted designs will be reviewed by elementary school classes across Japan, including those in international schools. Pupils in individual classes will vote, with each class choosing their single preferred set of designs. Tokyo 2020 will select the design set which attracts the largest number of classroom votes.

Yoshiko Ikoma, vice chairperson of the selection process panel, said: “Given the importance of mascots in modern Japanese culture, we always knew there would be huge public interest in the selection of the Tokyo 2020 mascot. We think this process gives the public – and especially schoolchildren – a unique opportunity to participate in the design and selection process.”

The timeline for the design and selection process is as follows:

August 1 to 14, 2017 – design submission period (submission via a special website)

December 2017 – mascot panel selects shortlist of design sets

December 2017 to January 2018 – elementary school children vote on the shortlist

March 2018 – design set with the largest number of votes is announced as the winner

July to August 2018 – mascot panel decides names for the winning mascots

The creative brief for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Mascots is available for download here.

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15 Comments
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The mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Games will therefore play a key role in introducing Japanese culture to the world. 

So we need a childish mascot that promotes: 'institutionalized bullying' and 'Lolita fascination'...

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Amazing how they make Mori look as if he's still breathing.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Some version of the sakura.....   Or of an underage athlete........   Or hot springs.......

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Four we know for sure about the winning mascot design:

1) It will be both cloyingly cute and weird.

2) Most foreigners in Japan will mock the absurd design

3) Dentsu will somehow be involved.

4) There will be some aspect of it that will have been copied from some other design.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

here's my entry; a giant smiley stuffed brown envelope, named Korrup-chan.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I thought Abe in his Super Mario suit was already the mascot.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

there will be an innovative judging process whereby elementary schoolchildren across the country will select the winning set of designs from a shortlist.

I like it. Always good to bring in a fresh pair of eyes (or, in this case, thousands). Good idea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Olympic and Paralympic mascots have become a much-loved feature of the Games, garnering attention from fans all over the world.

Says who?

communicating the values of the Olympic and Paralympic movements

Values such as what? Athletic competition that is independent from commercial gain from purveyors of junk like McDonalds and Coca Cola? International athletic advantage completely unrelated to monetary investment? Host city bidding that is completely above board and untainted by bribery?

Hope to see a cute character that captures those values and makes everyone smile and forget about trivial issues like Fukushima, the devaluation of workers and their families, and rebranding citizens as "subjects" in in the constitution by 2020.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As much as I look fwd to the games, I have equal anticipation over the protests which will be seen by the world. Every games has it's protests and causes. And rightly so.

I thought Doraemon was the mascot? Or did I get that completely wrong?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

elementary schoolchildren across the country will select the winning set of designs from a shortlist.

The cynic in me say this is just a clever way to shift the blame if the mascot is a flop. Who would ever dream of blaming the schoolchildren for their choice, right? They got burned last time with choosing the logo and they've learned their lesson.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Korup-chan!!! Brilliant. Thanks for that, Alistair.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The mascot should be Godzilla, simple as that. ;-)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

2020 olympics.... you gotta be joking... i bet there are no olympics by than...

few more rockets from the north korean nut and i bet nobody will come to tokyo...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh what a cynical lot you are :)

Go with the flow, enjoy it, naff all you can do to stop it so you might as well, anyway elementary school kids will make less of a screw up than the corrupt/decrepit officials!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the land of a million mascots, you don't need new ones. Have an Olympic tournament trial across the nation for the most favoured mascots. Make it a weighed percentage so population alone doesn't sway. It would drive up interest locally and match similar events during the Olympics themselves.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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