All six candidates were cute enough to do the country proud, but these two are the winners.

With the PyeongChang festivities all wrapped up, the next stop for the Olympics is Japan. With Tokyo serving as host city for the Summer Games in 2020, preparations are already underway, and while not everything is in place yet, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee has announced the competitions’ official mascots.

In December, three pairs of finalists were announced, with the final decision made by the children of Japan. Students at 16,769 elementary schools were asked for their opinion, including at educational institutions for the blind which got special three-dimensional models of the mascots. The votes have now been tallied, and the winning pair, with 109,041 votes, is…

the “A” pair, which mixes modern, futuristic touches with the checkered pattern called ichimatsu moyo in Japanese, which has long been a popular motif for kimono design and other traditional visual arts in Japan. The Paralympics mascot gets additional indigenous accents with its “sakura-color” and ears and eye markings shaped like cherry blossom petals.

Now that they’ve got the jobs, the next step is to choose names for them, something organizers say they’re currently in the process of doing. Sadly, this means that fans of the “B” pair, consisting of a hybrid beckoning cat/Inari fox and wind spirit/lion-dog…

…and the “C” pair of a fox spirit and tanuki racoon dog…

…won’t be able to decorate their rooms with plushies of the more mythology-motivated mascots. Nevertheless, the winning mascots definitely have their own stylish cuteness, a combination that describes a lot of Japan’s aesthetic tastes and makes them fitting representatives of the country in their own rights.

Source: Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Featured image: Twitter/@mai_spo_gorin
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