By Madeline Bilis
March 21, 2019
KIMIMASA MAYAMA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shut/Shutterstock

The official torch for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo was released this week, and its design is a bit flowery.

Indeed, the rose-gold aluminum torch was crafted in the shape of a Sakura cherry blossom, the national flower of Japan. When glimpsed from overhead, it displays five sections, or petals, that resemble the flower. Each petal produces its own flame, which are united as one bright flame in the center.

The torch for the summer games was designed by artist Tokujin Yoshioka. It’s made with aluminium recycled from the temporary housing that was constructed after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.

KIMIMASA MAYAMA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shut/Shutterstock

“I designed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch in the wishes for peace and healing of hearts in recovering area,” Yoshioka wrote on his website.

To achieve its one-of-a-kind shape, Yoshioka used the same aluminum extrusion technology that’s employed in the manufacturing of Japanese bullet trains, per Olympic.org.

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It’s appropriate the torch’s cherry blossom design debuted in March, as it’s the beginning of Japan’s celebrated cherry blossom season. March is also when the Olympics Torch Relay begins, a time when the torch is brought across Japan and delivered to the Olympic Games. This relay marks the first time the torch will be displayed during the ceremonies next year. The torch’s 121-day journey from Fukushima to Tokyo kicks off on March 26, 2020.

“In 2020, the Olympic flame will traverse throughout Japan like cherry blossoms blooming, and lights our way to hope,” Yoshioka wrote.

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