I designed the Olympic torch in the wishes for peace and healing of hearts of those affected by the natural disasters.
In 2015, I visited Fukushima prefecture and did a drawing workshop with children from the disaster affected area as an assistance for reconstruction. The cherry blossoms they drew were all vibrant, as if they're symbolising the spirit of the people taking steps toward reconstruction, and projecting hopes for the future. That experience inspired me to design this torch.
The shape of the torch has a cherry blossom motif which is the popular and symbolic flower of Japan.
Part of the material from which the torch is made is recycled aluminium originally used in the construction of prefabricated housing units in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The temporary units used to house those affected by the disaster have been transformed into the Olympic torch, and communicate the steps taken toward reconstruction of the disaster affected areas.
The torch has been created in a traditional "sakura emblem" form using the aluminium extrusion manufacturing technology and precise cutting technique. The torch is designed to reduce the weight thoroughly, and is completely seamless.
What I designed is not merely the shape of the torch body, but most importantly, the form of the flame. Five separate flames emerge from flower petals and come together as one at the center of the torch, and it becomes a flame of sakura as a symbol of peace.
As if sakura trees bloom across Japan, the sacred flame traverse across Japan, and I hope this narrative will engage people more and light our way.