Design of Tokyo Olympic torch unveiled

Judo champion Tadahiro Nomura, a Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay ambassador, shows the torch in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The design of the torch for the relay leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Games has been unveiled by the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The committee announced Wednesday that the torch’s shape and color are based on a cherry blossom. It was made partly with aluminium that was used in temporary housing after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Seventy-one centimeters long and weighing 1.2 kilograms, the torch looks like a cherry blossom seen from above.

The color is called cherry blossom gold, a combination of pink and gold. About 30 percent of the aluminum used to make it came from aluminum window frames for temporary housing in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, which were battered by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

“I wanted to show everyone around the world how people are overcoming their struggles and recovering from the disaster,” said torch designer Tokujin Yoshioka, 52.

The committee also announced on the day details about the torch relay itself. There will be 80 to 90 bearers per day, with each person running about 200 meters. When the torch moves to an adjoining prefecture or municipality, it will be carried in a lantern by car. The committee is considering holding open applications for bearers and selecting the official participants from those applications around this summer.

The committee is expected to prepare a sub-flame, which will be carried in advance before the torch relay to remote areas including islands. When the relay passes through those areas, the torch will be lit from the sub-flame.

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