Check out the superhero mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Frederick Owens
March 2, 2018

"The mascot has a strong sense of justice and is very athletic", the biographical notes said.

Mascots, locally known as "yuru-kyara" rake in a lot of moolah.

Taniguchi's design received 109,041 votes, while the two other finalists secured 61,423 and 35,291 votes, respectively.

Masaaki Komiya, vice-director general of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, said the panel expected to announce the names later this year.

It's hard to pinpoint the true reason why Japanese obsess over these kinds of things - some say it reminds them of childhood cartoon characters, others say memories of their hometowns.

The pot-bellied, red-cheeked bear known as Kumamon - created in 2010 to promote Japan's southern Kumamoto region - raked in $8.8 million a year ago for local businesses selling branded products.

Welcoming the "adorable" characters to the Tokyo 2020 team, the city's governor Yuriko Koike said she hoped the selection would continue to build "momentum" and "excitement" with less than 900 days to go until the opening ceremony.

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A crowd of supporters was on hand at Narita Airport east of Tokyo to greet the athletes and officials.

The 2016 Rio Olympics had a yellow feline animal representing Brazil's rich fauna and wildlife named Vinicius after music great Vinicius de Moraes.

The original official logo was hit with plagiarism allegations and scrapped.

The mascots will, embody the Olympic spirit, appear in the opening and closing ceremonies, and welcome visitors to the Games.

The designer of the winning mascots is Ryo Taniguchi, who graduated as an art major from Cabrillo College in California, and is now active as a character designer/illustrator.

Both mascots were created by character designer and illustrator Ryo Taniguchi. The third design- a fox for the Olympics and a tanuki (raccoon dog) for the Paralympics - was inspired by traditional fairy tales. "I just want to tell my beloved wife that I've been chosen".

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