TOKYO — An emblem inspired by the ancient gods of wind and thunder is among a shortlist of logos for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics unveiled Friday by officials.
The four designs replace an earlier symbol that was dropped after a complaint alleging plagiarism.
"All of these designs have all been cleared of copyright both domestically and abroad," Tokyo Emblem Committee Chairman Yohei Miyata told reporters.
The other three shortlisted logos include an indigo-blue checkered pattern, a circle that "expresses the connection between the dynamism of the athletes and the joy of the spectators" and a design based on the upwards-facing morning glory flower.
They were submitted through a public competition that attracted 14,599 entries and took a panel of judges 20 months to choose.
"In order to produce an emblem that would be embraced by many, and also allow people to share the excitement of the Games and a design that could communicate globally, we proceeded with the basic concept of participation and transparency as our main pillars," Miyata said.
The original emblem, by art director Kenjiro Sano, was withdrawn last summer after Belgian artist Olivier Debie claimed that it echoed his work for the Theatre de Liege.
The organizing committee for the Tokyo Games has been plagued by fumbles. Last year, the original design for the main stadium was scrapped over mushrooming construction costs and public disapproval of the design, which had been likened to a bicycle helmet.
Following consultation with the public, a final decision on the logo design will be announced later this month.