The Sakura, or the Cherry Blossom holds an iconic role in Japanese culture, finding its firmly rooted place in Japanese tradition, art, outdoor spaces, music, manga, anime, and film. It now finds itself as the inspiration source for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch.
The torch, designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, pays tribute to the flower that literally covers the country in a pool of pink every spring. Made from extruded aluminum, the torch comes with a pipe-shaped design that branches out into five outward truncated sections to form the motif of the Sakura cherry blossom – the traditional flower of Japan – when viewed from above. The torch comes with a rose-gold tint too, to complete its appearance, giving the torch a pink hue, just like the blush-colored flower.
The torch comes made from recycled metal used in the temporary housing units that were created post the aftermath of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Olympic medals are also being made recycled metal too, obtained from electronic waste across the country.
Yoshioka claims that the recycled nature of the torch was a way of “transforming materials that witnessed the rebuilding of shattered lives into a symbol of peace,” according to the creator, “to convey to the world the extent to which the affected areas are recovering, one step at a time.”
The release of the torch design is also coincidentally timed perfectly with the beginning of spring, and the blooming of the cherry blossoms all across the country.
Designer: Tokujin Yoshioka