Everywhere you look, the streets of Tokyo are gearing up for the nearing 2020 Olympic games. Everything from new train stations, to the Olympic character keychains that hang off peoples bags walking on the street. Just this week (March 20th, 2019), the Olympic federation revealed the design and concept behind the Olympic torch. The flame of the torch is recognized as a message of peace and hope and is carried between the Olympic host countries and continues to burn throughout the whole Olympic games. This torch relay was first performed in 1936 at the Berlin games and has been continued ever since.
Unification of Modern and Traditional Japan
Now, the design for the Tokyo 2020 torch has been revealed with the concept of 「Hope Lights Our Way / 希望の道を、つなごう。」and is full of advanced technology and symbols. Although there are some jokes going around that from certain angles, the torch looks like a spring onion, it is officially a motif of a Sakura (Cherry blossom); which is the traditional symbol of Japan. Not only is it the design of a Sakura but it is created with manufacturing techniques used to make the Japanese bullet trains. This allows the manufactures to push out the aluminum without having to sever or stick together any part of the torch. The whole thing is made from a single rod of aluminum. Which holds the meaning that everyone is connected through the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with no seams or rough edges.
Recovery of Japan
Not only is the technology amazing but 30% of the aluminum used for the torch comes from the scraps of construction aluminum used for the temporary homes built for those affected by the Tohoku earthquake in 2011. The combination of aluminum parts from the life-saving homes and the sakura motif through the torch, symbolizes the recovery of those who were affected, one step at a time.
The Strong and Beautiful Flame
The flames of the torch tie together Japan and the world through the Olympic games regardless of any political or cultural turmoil occurring at that time. The 5 flames that come out of each sakura petal, come together in the center to form one big flame that burns with both a strong blue flame and a subtle red flame. The flames of peace and hope will unite Japan (through the sakura) and the world (center on the torch). The flames with continue burning with strong and bright ambiance regardless of any change in the environment.
Whether it be Sakura or spring onion, the flames coming together as one will unite every country and person through the Tokyo Olympics. The Sakura motif, unique aluminum and technology, and the never burning flames will guide the world to come together as one and will connect this peace and hope to the next Olympic games. With only one more year till the inauguration of the 2020 games, the brightness of the torch only ads to the hype and exhilaration for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic games.