The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has unveiled the design of the torch that will be used during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay and the emblem that will be used to denote the Relay. The Torch and its emblem will feature strongly in the build-up to the Games across the whole of Japan, and their unveiling comes exactly one year before the flame is due to arrive from Greece at Matsushima Airbase in Miyagi prefecture.
Characteristics of the Olympic Torch
The torch bears the motif of a cherry blossom, Japan’s most familiar and best-loved flower. With the arrival of the cherry blossom season in March 2020, the Olympic Torch will be integrated with the “Hope Lights Our Way“ concept of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay and will commence its journey across Japan.
Uniting tradition and modern technology, the shape of the torch resembles that of a Japanese traditional “Sakura-mon“ cherry blossom emblem. It was shaped into this form using the same aluminium extrusion technology used in the manufacture of Japan’s famous bullet trains. It forms a seamless, single piece symbolising the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, created by fusing Japanese tradition and modern technology.
The manufacture of the torch embodies a passion for recovery and consideration for sustainability. Aluminium construction waste from temporary housing built in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake was used to create it, transforming materials that witnessed the rebuilding of shattered lives into a symbol of peace. This will convey to the world the extent to which the affected areas are recovering, one step at a time.
The Olympic TorchThe Olympic Torch
The torch is also designed to depict the shape of a flame. The five flames generated from the petal unite at the centre of the torch, lighting the way with greater brilliance. A number of technological innovations have been deployed in the combustion section that lights the torch, including catalytic reaction.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Emblem is designed to act as a symbol for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay. As such, it also reflects the Tokyo 2020 emblem, presenting a consistent image across all Games activities and events.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay emblem incorporates three rectangular shapes arranged to depict the dynamic flames of a torch. In addition, a “ukiyo-e“ woodblock printing technique known as “fukibokashi“ has been used to produce graduated tones across two colours. One of these – vermilion – produces an energetic, loving and passionate image, and is combined with ochraceous, reminiscent of the earth, to create a festive feeling evoking Japan as well as the effect of a flame.
The Olympic Torch
Tokyo 2020 invited participants to form a corporate community overseeing all activities from design to manufacturing. A selection panel met twice to evaluate designs against criteria that included design, performance of the lighting mechanism and consideration for sustainability.
The torch will be carried through Japan’s rich scenery by many different torchbearers, and it is hoped it will “light our way to the future“.
Olympic Torch Relay Ambassadors
Tokyp 2020 has also named Tadahiro Nomura, three-time Olympic gold medallist from Nara prefecture; Aki Taguchi, three-time Paralympian from Osaka prefecture; and comedian duo Sandwich Man from Miyagi prefecture as the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Brand Amabssadors.