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Japan unveils futuristic mascots for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

02 March 2018

The mascot, which has yet to be named, was selected from a shortlist of three competitors.

The Tokyo 2020 organisers threw open the competition of choosing mascots for the quadrennial games to individuals and groups, and 2,042 designs were received.

This was the first time human figures were used as mascots, as Hakon and Kristin were two "happy" Norwegian children dressed in traditional Viking attire to represent the country's heritage.

The mascots will be featured at various events and on products related to the games.

According to the organizers, the futuristic mascots combine tradition with modern innovation. "The mascot has a strong sense of justice and is very athletic", the biographical notes said.

Helpfully, it also has a magical power that enables it "to move anywhere instantaneously".

The Paralympic mascot is similar to the Olympics mascot but has a white and pink design.

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It's hard to pinpoint the true reason why Japanese obsess over these kinds of things - some say it reminds them of childhood cartoon characters, others say memories of their hometowns.

The ceremony was held at Hoyonomori Gakuen, an elementary school in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, where 561 students participated in the voting process.

The winning designs for the Olympics and the Paralympics were created by Ryo Taniguchi, a 43-year-old character designer and illustrator from Fukuoka Prefecture, whose works have been featured in English-language school textbooks. "I'm just so spaced out at the moment", he said when the decision was announced.

In a nation highly driven by technological advances, two futuristic cartoon figures- one is a superhero and the other has an athlete's figure- were chosen on live television earlier today at a ceremony attended by over 500 cheering schoolchildren in Tokyo.

"I have put my life on skating since I missed Sochi Olympics four years ago".

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 24 and end on August 9, 2020.

Japan unveils futuristic mascots for Tokyo 2020 Olympics