Just what the heck is the Tokyo Olympics symbol supposed to be?


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Back before Tokyo was selected as the host of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the organizing committee started putting up posters around the capital touting its status as a candidate city. The logo was a circle of cherry blossoms using four of the five colors of the Olympic rings (with purple substituting for black).

You could say it was a clichéd choice, but on the other hand, it’d be hard to come up with a symbol more instantly associated with Japan than the sakura. Mt. Fuji, maybe, but it isn’t in Tokyo, and a piece of sushi would look more like a promotion for a restaurant than a sporting competition.

But perhaps because the cherry blossoms bloom in spring and Tokyo is hosting the Summer Games, the sakura ring isn’t going to be used for the actual 2020 Olympics and Paralympics themselves. Instead, Japan’s Olympic Committee recently came up with

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