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What are the 2021 Tokyo Olympics mascots? What are their meanings?

Miraitowa and Someity are the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics 2021 mascots. They both represent different elements of Japanese culture.

Miraitowa (left) and Someity (right)
Matt Roberts/Getty Images

As usual in every edition of the Olympic Games, the host country chooses a pair of mascots who represent the culture of where the Olympics and Paralympics are taking place. For Tokyo 2021, Japan has chosen Miraitowa and Someity.

Who is Miraitowa? What's its meaning?

Miraitowa is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascot. Its name comes from the Japanese words "mirai", meaning "future", and "towa", meaning "eternity". As the official Olympics site states, this represents "the wish that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will lead to a future of everlasting hope in the hearts of everyone around the world."

It is designed with an indigo blue Ichimatsu pattern (a kind of square pattern), the same used for the official Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games logo. As shown in the animated promotional videos for the event, Miraitowa is a cheerful and athletic character capable of teleporting itself wherever it wants.

Who is Someity? What's its meaning?

Someity (pronounced soh-may-tee) is the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic mascot. In this case, its name comes from someiyoshino, a popular cherry blossom tree variety in Japan. The name also closely resembles the English phrase "so mighty," which is no accident.

As part of its lore, Someity has tactile cherry blossom sensors and exhibits enormous mental and physical strength. According to the organization, it represents Paralympic athletes who overcome obstacles and redefine the boundaries of what is possible.

Miraitowa and Someity's designs were chosen by more than 75 percent of the elementary schools in Japan. A number of Japanese schools overseas also took part in a selection process and voted for their favorite mascot designs.

When did Olympic mascots appear for the first time?

These fictional characters have been present in the Olympic Games since the Grenoble Olympic Games in 1968. However, in the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1932 there was a mascot which in that case was a real dog named Smoky.


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