Checkered Pattern Characters Picked as 2020 Games Mascots


Tokyo, Feb. 28 (Jiji Press)—The organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics said Wednesday that the characters with traditional kumi ichimatsumon checkered patterns were chosen as mascots for the quadrennial sporting events.

The characters, chosen from three pairs of candidates, topped ballots at Japanese elementary schools with 109,041 votes. Each class had one vote.

It was the first time in the Olympic and Paralympic history that event mascots have been picked by votes from elementary school children.

"My mind went blank," said Taniguchi Ryō, the 43-year-old illustrator who created the characters. "I don't know what to say."

The Olympics mascot bears an indigo blue checkered pattern similar to the kumi ichimatsumon patterns of the emblems for the 2020 Tokyo Games, while a pink checkered pattern is used for the Paralympic mascot.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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