TOKYO, Japan – Japanese organizers formally introduced their doe-eyed 2020 Olympic mascots to the world on Sunday, July 22, christening them with superhero names that could provide a tongue-twisting challenge to some.
It's official! The name of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascot is #MIRAITOWA, and #SOMEITY as the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games mascot! Comment down below and Say Hi to our official mascots! pic.twitter.com/5AAYnsabKH— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 22, 2018
The official video of #Miraitowa and #Someity is now LIVE! Welcome to the world, Miraitowa and Someity!https://t.co/CQWXiRxB6r pic.twitter.com/KYconJrjxo— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 22, 2018
The blue-checked Olympic mascot was dubbed “Miraitowa” – combining the Japanese words for future and eternity, organizers said at an event in Tokyo.
It expresses the hope for a bright future stretching off forever, according to officials.
#Miraitowa stands for the Japanese words 未来 (future) and 永遠 (eternity) combined!— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 22, 2018
Its Paralympic partner which sports pink checks is called “Someity” – borrowing from the word for a variety of Japan’s iconic cherry trees and the English expression “so mighty”.
The characters are said to combine tradition and innovation, organizers said.
#Someity (pronounced soh-may-tee) comes from a popular cherry blossom variety "Someiyoshino" and echoes the English phrase "so mighty".— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 22, 2018
The pointy-eared mascots bestowed with “special powers” were unveiled in February this year after being chosen by schoolchildren from a shortlist of 3 across mascot-mad Japan.
Miraitowa has a “strong sense of justice and is very athletic,” according to Olympic officials, adding that it also possesses magical powers that enable it “to move anywhere instantaneously”.
Someity is said to be “usually calm” but “gets very powerful when needed,” organizers noted cryptically.
Mascots are massive in Japan, where there are literally thousands representing everything from small communities to prisons.
Known locally as “yuru-kyara” or “laid-back characters,” mascots can also be major money-spinners.
Tokyo organizers will hope their 2020 mascots can replicate the success of Soohorang, the cuddly stuffed tiger from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang earlier this year.
Come visit the newly-opened Tokyo 2020 mascot's house in Tokyo Midtown Hibiya! #Miraitowa #Someity pic.twitter.com/BSlDyk2fc7— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 22, 2018
At their unveiling in February, social media reaction was mixed with some posters complaining they wanted something “more round” and more “huggable.”
The Tokyo Olympics begin on July 24, 2020. – Rappler.com
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