9. Tokyo Olympic torch features cherry blossom
The Olympic torch for the 2020 Tokyo Games features a design based on a cherry blossom.
The organizing committee for the Games unveiled the torch on Wednesday, about one year ahead of the start of the torch relay.
The torch is 71 centimeters long and weighs about 1.2 kilograms. The upper section is separated into five parts, which look like cherry petals when viewed from above. The torch is designed so that the five flames converge at the top.
The color of the torch is somewhere between pink and gold. The committee named the color "Sakura and gold." "Sakura" means "cherry blossom" in Japanese.
The torch is made from aluminum, with 30 percent of it recycled from construction waste from temporary housing. The housing was made in the northeastern prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima for people who lost their homes in the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
The torch is the work of designer Tokujin Yoshioka, who is active in various fields, including contemporary art. Several manufacturers helped with the production.
Yoshioka said that when he designed the torch, he thought of people affected by the disaster, their mental recovery, and wishes for peace. He noted that the torch is designed to shine with the sun's light. And he said he hopes the runners will also shine and create a road of hope.
The relay will start on March 26 of next year at the J-Village national soccer training center in Fukushima. The torch will travel through all of Japan's 47 prefectures over the course of 121 days leading up to the opening ceremony on July 24.