Skip to main content

Japan Reacts to 2020 Tokyo Olympic Logo Withdrawal

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASH915QR9H91UTIL032.html

translated by Brett Larner
photo via Wikipedia

Three luminaries gave Asahi their views on Tuesday's withdrawal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo designed by Kenjiro Sano and officially released in late July.

Mitsuru Yaku, manga artist
With regard to the reason for the withdrawal, the organizing committee has repeatedly said, "We have been unable to obtain the understanding of the public," but with no independent review they have simply left this issue to the court of public opinion.  Going ahead now with no determination of where responsibility lies for, say, the selection process the first time, means that even if there are public contributions this time there will be some suspicion somewhere, and that raises the risk of stepping on the same landmine again.  In the first place, we already have the 1964 Tokyo Olympics logo, so why do we need to re-design a new one?  It has clarity and majesty.  No design could surpass it.  As a two-time Olympic host city its use would show veneration for our ancestors.  Or is it no longer important that we pass on that philosophy?

Yuko Arimori, 1992 and 1996 Olympic marathon medalist; president, Special Olympics Japan
This is a very disappointing start to the buildup toward the Olympics.  It is humiliating that ever since the New National Stadium problem, an endless stream of unthinkable things has happened.  Redoing the National Stadium plans and Olympic logo from zero is already costing a lot of money.  There is no transparency at all to how money is being used or how the organizing committee is operating.  With the general public eating those costs, are they really going to line up and cheer the athletes and enjoy themselves at the Olympics?  Both money and effort should be used in a meaningful way that will promote community and children's sports.  I hope that we can still regain confidence and put on an Olympics that everybody can support.

Takayuki Fujimoto, Associate Professor of Design Theory, Toyo University
Mr. Sano should certainly have withdrawn the logo at a much earlier stage.  In the background of the problem becoming this large was not just the issue of whether there was imitation or plagiarism in his logo design, but the tremendous public scrutiny and suspicion of all his other previous work that it created.  Dealing with the Olympics necessitates absolute spotlessness.  With one after another suspicious cases pointed out online public opinion quickly came to become, "We do not want a dirty logo," which I believe is a sign of general anger over the unending series of problems including the New National Stadium issue.

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Yaku-san is 100% right about the 64 logo. When you compare it to the one Sano did, you realize how pathetic that new one was.
Brett Larner said…
Agreed. I'd make the same argument about the National Stadium, but the powers that be already pulled the trigger on that one.

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …