Blue Magpies, plum blossoms highlighted in Taiwan kimono for Tokyo Olympics project

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As Japan was preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in previous years, the whole nation rallied behind officials to help make it a memorable event.

In 2014, a local company decided to launch the “Kimono Project” with the aim of creating unique kimonos for each of the 207 Olympic teams.

The kimono for the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) team debuted in March last year, and the Taiwanese elements are conspicuous in the design.

此項計畫是由日本當地民間團體「Imagine OneWorld」所發起,目的在於以和平與和諧為號召,讓全世界在2020年東京奧運團結一致。此計畫由日本各地130多位和服設計師合作,而歷時六年的創作過程終於在2020年完成所有作品。

The project was launched by the Japanese local non-governmental organization Imagine OneWorld in the hope of “uniting the world in peace and harmony in Tokyo 2020.”

The project was a collaboration between 130 kimono artisans from all around Japan and lasted six years to finally materialize in 2020.


For each team, a set of kimonos that includes an obi (sash) and accessories takes about ¥2,000,000 (about NT$510,000) on average to produce.

The fund was crowdsourced with corporations and individuals donating from ¥1,000 to ¥3,000,000 (around NT$255 to NT$764,868), and the entire project consisted of volunteers as opposed to paid individuals.


As artisans embarked on the design process, they first consulted with embassies and representatives offices of nations and derived inspirations from culture, history, nature, architecture, national flag, and national emblem. Later on, they integrated these elements into their design.

中華台北代表團的和服由Hiromi Yabana製作,腰帶則是由西村織物株式會社負責。此套和服以黃色為底色,再以我國特有種台灣藍鵲以及國花梅花點綴。

The kimono for Chines Taipei was designed and created by Hiromi Yabana, and the obi by Nishimura Orimono Co., Ltd.

The designer adopted yellow as the base color and embellished the kimono with Taiwan Blue Magpies, a Taiwanese endemic species, and Taiwan’s floral emblem — the plum blossoms.


The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee indicated that the plum blossoms on the kimono represent “honor and the nation” and that the Taiwan Blue Magpies portray solidarity, agility, and perseverance.


Despite the fact that the project originally targeted to showcase the result in the Opening Ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the attempt was unsuccessful.

Fortunately, people from around the world can still appreciate the splendid kimonos that Japan has presented for every team.

Envoy to Spain explains why ‘Chinese Taipei’ athletes hail from Taiwan

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Taiwanese badminton players Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin with their gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. Taiwanese badminton players Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin with their gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s representative in Spain, Jose Maria Liu (劉德立), has written a letter to the Spanish media to explain that athletes winning medals at the Tokyo Olympics under the name of “Chinese Taipei” actually represented Taiwan, reports said Friday (Aug. 13).

Due to pressure from China, Taiwan is not allowed to use its own name, fly its own flag, or play its national anthem during medal ceremonies at the Olympics. The island nation’s stellar performance in Tokyo, where it won an unprecedented 12 medals, has attracted attention from global media.

Writing to Spanish newspaper ABC, Liu said that no matter how hard one looks, a country called “Chinese Taipei” is nowhere to be found on a world map, CNA reported. He pointed out that the nation’s medal winners have been popular both at home and internationally.

However, Liu added that the international community needs to be reminded the athletes come from Taiwan, which has been forced to accept the name “Chinese Taipei” under an agreement made four decades ago. During the Tokyo games, Spanish news website El Confidencial also mentioned how only athletes from Taiwan, Russia, and the refugee team were unable to hear their own national anthems.

For Taiwanese athletes, Tokyo Olympics their best ever

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