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 Sano should certainly have withdrawn the logo at a much earlier stage.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

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…