Olympics logo for 2020 Tokyo games reflects diversity theme

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/05/17/olympics-logo-for-2020-tokyo-games-reflects-diversity-theme/

BOSTON – Controversy seems to follow the Olympic Games around the globe, from the original logo devised for the 2020 games in Tokyo to the aborted Boston 2024 bid and a series of concerns surrounding this year’s games in Rio de Janiero.

But organizers of the Tokyo games offered a solution to at least one of those controversies that features a gesture towards inclusivity.

In April Japan unveiled a new logo for the 2020 games after the original design, unveiled in September, came under criticism for its similarity to another design. The original logo by Japanese artist Kenjiro Sano bore a resemblance to Belgian designer Olivier Debie’s logo for the  Théâtre de Liège. Sano denied plagiarism, claiming he had “never been to Belgium,” or seen the theater’s logo.

The new design, by Japanese artist Asao Tokolo, draws on Japanese symbols from the Edo period of 1603 to 1868. The blue checkered pattern is called “ichimatsu moyo” and gained popularity through the Kabuki Theater, when a popular actor wore pants printed in the pattern. The emblem design uses a square and two different sized rectangles which can be rearranged and curved, helping symbolize the “Unity and Diversity” theme of the Tokyo games.

“It incorporates the message of ‘unity in diversity’,” Olympic organizers said of the design, saying the use of flexible symbols and Japan’s traditional indigo color helps forward the idea that the Olympics can “promote diversity as a platform to connect the world.” “Unity in diversity” is one of three concepts the Tokyo Olympic Committee aims to highlight in the events, along with “achieving personal best” and “connecting with tomorrow.”

Some are critical of the new design, saying its use of a single color makes it dull. Critics also contend that the logo lacks the dynamism typically associated with the athletic competition that draws the eyes of the world every four years.