The eyes of the world are currently glued to their TV screens to watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Competitors from 204 nations have trained tirelessly in the hope they would make it to the Games and win at least one of the much sort after Gold, Silver or Bronze medals.
Along with the 5,000 medals to be awarded, victory bouquets will also be presented to each medallist. The bouquets have been carefully designed and created by the Nippon Flower Council for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Included in the bouquet will be the Olympic mascot Miraitowa – a lasting reminder of Tokyo 2020 that the medallists will be able to treasure and share with family and friends.
The flowers used for the Olympic victory bouquet will include eustomas and Solomon’s seals from Fukushima, sunflowers from Miyagi, gentians from Iwate, and aspidistras from Tokyo – and they haven’t been chosen by chance.
The entire prefecture of Fukushima is involved in the production of eustomas. When the production of agricultural products dropped after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Fukushima established a non-profit organisation to grow flowers in a bid to fuel the hope of recovery.
In the prefecture of Miyagi, parents who lost their children during the Great East Japan Earthquake returned to plant sunflowers on the hill where their children sought safety from the oncoming tsunami, and every year the hill becomes covered with sunflowers. This episode has been told in a children’s book too. The sunflowers from Miyagi reflect the memories of the people who were affected by the disaster.
Iwate Prefecture is widely known for its production of gentians, and over half of the gentians produced in Japan come from Iwate. Its Indigo blue colour is the same as the Tokyo 2020 Games emblem.
These three flowers were chosen for the special meaning they represent to the disaster-affected areas, but special attention is also given to the arrangement of the flowers as well as their lasting effect.1
The Nippon Flower Council say the flowers will stay fresh and beautiful for several days, even if they are kept in a room without air-conditioning.
But it’s the lasting memory of the athletes holding them aloft in celebration – fresh from exerting all their efforts to win a medal at Tokyo 2020 – that will be the enduring image for generations.1
And welcome with a lovely bouquet to J.L. in Australia who has joined the AnArt4Life blog community.
2. edition.cnn.com image: Ben Curtis/AP