School kids pick futuristic mascots for 2020 summer Olympics

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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. The list was narrowed down to three by experts and voted for by school students across the nation. The Paralympic character has a kind heart, loves nature and can move objects by looking at them. Elementary school students cast their votes between December 11 and February 22.

Children were allowed to vote by classes as units, not as individuals.

A total of 205,755 classes from 16,769 elementary schools, including worldwide schools and Japanese schools overseas, participated in the selection process.

The pair, which have "opposite personalities" but are "very good friends", received over 100,000 votes - more than the other two design sets combined.

BC-OLY-Tokyo 2020-Mascots, 122 Futuristic digital characters selected as Tokyo 2020 mascotsAP Photo XEH108, XEH107, XEH101, XEH102, XEH103, XEH104, XEH105, XEH106Eds: APNewsNow. He said he was very happy to hear the news that the design he had voted for won, and that taking part in the selection process had been a great experience, making him feel like he was "part of (the games)".

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"I don't know what to say (to describe how it feels to win)". 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games' mascot Soohorang, a white tiger, proved a massive hit with thousands of its stuffed dolls sold in past year.

The games are scheduled for 2020.

"It's quite innovative, I like the blue-check pattern while the pink one uses cherry blossoms and it shows traditional Japan", said Miyu Kawa, a 12-year-old student at Hoyonomori Gakuen School, where the selection was announced.

While mascots help in promotion and popularizing events, Japan takes the craze to another level.

The mascots' names will be chosen based on feedback from creative professionals and will be announced in the summer.