Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch5 min read

Its hard to not get excited about the olympics. There is so much happening, and the build up to each event grows as the years go by.

I remember being super excited for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, because I was in high school, and we would get extended holidays. But thinking back on it, there was a buzz in the air for a long time leading up to the Olympics. These days I prefer the Winter Olympics, but with the addition of the Skateboarding to the Tokyo 2020 sports list, I felt like I would be excited for these games for a whole new reason.

But it is not the skateboarding that is getting me excited. It wasn’t the massive works being undertaken to the infrastructure in Japan when I was living there. Its not even the fact that the Olympics are in Japan. Its the design. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are the first games in as long as I can remember where the design components that we are seeing are very exciting, and seemingly well thought out.

I do remember there was some controversy revolving around the original logo being plagiarised. I won’t go into it, but you can read about it here. It does seem though that following the feedback from that initial unveiling, every part of the design for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been explored to its fullest, and the results I am seeing are super rad. The pictograms for the sports were released a few weeks ago, I have a better look at them here – Tokyo 2020 Pictograms.

Recently though, whooo weee, the Olympic Torch was unveiled, and I have to say that it is an object that I now hope to own one day.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch

It looks luxurious. It looks light. It looks futuristic. It looks like it is supposed to.

Designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, who also designed some of my favourite mobile phones ever, which often use translucent materials to show the inner workings of the phones.

I designed the TOKYO 2020 Olympic Torch in the wishes for peace and healing of hearts in the disaster-hit area. 

The cherry blossom emblems I drew with children in the recovering area inspired me. Those cherry blossoms were all vibrant, as if they symbolize the spirit of the people trying to overcome and restart from the disaster. I aimed to convey this power to the world through my design. 

What I designed is not merely the form of the TOKYO 2020 Olympic Torch, but the form of Olympic flame itself. The five flames surrounded by the petals become one Olympic flame to give hope to all the people in the world to live in peace. 

In 2020, the Olympic flame will traverse throughout Japan like cherry blossoms blooming, and lights our way to hope. 

Tokujin Yoshioka

It is inspired by the Sakura, the Japanese carry blossom that is synonymous for both beauty and fragility. The sakura is one of the most beautiful things you can experience in Japan, when you are in an area that is in Full Bloom, there is a buzz in the air. People stop in their tracks to admire the beauty of the blossoms. Busy salarymen pause on the way to the office to breathe deep the sweet air circling the city. Its an amazing time, and I’m very glad for the Sakura to feature so prominently in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Aesthetic.

Sakura Mon that inspired the olympic torch.

Its interesting to note that the body of the torch is made from some recycled materials, including aluminium from temporary shelters that were used after the 2011 Tsunami. The recycled materials of the torch are mirrored in the medals, which will be including electronic waste materials that have been upcycled in the various medals.

Torch Specifications:

Length: 710mm
Total weight: 1.2kg (the torch weighs 1kg, while the combustion component weighs 0.2kg).
Colours: Sakura and gold
Main materials: aluminium (approx. 30% of the torch is made from recycled aluminium originally used in temporary housing units after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster that devastated Japan’s Tohoku region)

You can see more of the torch on the Tokyo 2020 website or on the Tokujin Yoshioka website.