Tokyo 2020 Olympic ‘cherry blossom’ torch unveiled

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 10 April 2019

Japan has unveiled a beautiful Olympic torch for the 2020 Games which will be held in Tokyo. The rose-gold-coloured aluminium torch was modelled after Japan’s national flower, the sakura (cherry blossom), just ahead of cherry blossom season, which is currently underway.

When viewed from above, the beacon is made up of five hollow, open chambers that represent the petals and surround the ‘stigma’ in the centre. Each petal will have its own flame, and these will unite to form one bright, large flame in the middle.

The torch, which is 71cm long and weighs 1.2kg, was designed by artist Tokujin Yoshioka and constructed using aluminium recycled from the temporary housing that was built to house victims after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The natural disaster killed about 18,000 people and the Fukushima nuclear plant was affected, leading to the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Image credit: Kyodo News via Getty Images

‘Cherry blossoms drawn by kids in the disaster-hit area (in Fukushima)… inspired me,’ Yoshioka told reporters.

The passing of the flame will begin on 26 March 2020, and the torch will leave the starting point in Fukushima and be carried south to the island of Okinawa (which was the starting point for the 1964 Tokyo Games) before it will return north to Tokyo on 10 July.

Featured image: Kyodo News via Getty Images

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