Final Candidate Mascots for 2020 Tokyo Games Unveiled
Tokyo, Dec. 7 (Jiji Press)—The organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics unveiled Thursday the final three pairs of candidates for the quadrennial sporting events' mascots.
A wining pair will be announced on February 28 next year, after elementary school classrooms across Japan cast ballots between Monday and February 22. As of Thursday morning, 4,150 schools had registered to vote.
The three pairs are: futuristic characters with traditional ichimatsu-moyō checkered patterns; a character modeling from a manekineko lucky cat figurine and another with combined features of a komainu lion-dog and a fox, both shrine guardian animals; and fox and tanuki (raccoon dog) characters each featuring magatama ancient Japanese beads.
The final candidates, picked from 2,042 applications through screening and a vote by the committee's mascot selection panel, were shown to children at an event at Kakezuka Elementary School in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Television personality Nakagawa Shōko, a member of the panel, told the students, "I hope you will decide gold medalists in the mascot world through discussions."[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]