Tokyo 2020 Olympics reveals new logo after plagiarism row

The design, based on a traditional motif, replaces a modernist logo that two designers claimed as their own

The controversial original logo for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been replaced by a more traditional design from artist Asao Tokolo.

Organizers were impressed with the "harmonized checkered emblem," which they believe has universal appeal, takes into account Japanese history and incorporates a message of diversity, according to a press release from the organizers.

During the Edo period (1603-1867) in Japan, the checkered pattern became formally known as "ichimatsu moyo" and came to represent elegance and sophistication, according to the organizers.

"Composed of three varieties of rectangular shapes, the design represents different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. It incorporates the message of 'unity in diversity,' " they said in a statement revealing the winner.

Tokolo's design was selected from a shortlist of four contenders, all of which were created by Japanese designers:

The checkered emblem is in contrast to the modern design of the original logo (right), which was created by Kenjiro Sano. This logo was dropped after Belgian designer Olivier Debie claimed the design was similar to one he had produced for a theater in his home country (right) and the agency Hey Studio's logo for the think-tank Rebuild Japan (left).

This article originally appeared on


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