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Preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics

Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo

The Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in just over two years in Tokyo, and Japan is hard at work to make sure the event will be a great success. First up is the mascots!

Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Mascots

The government has established the Bureau of Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Preparation, which has laid out a vision centered around three core concepts:

  • striving to be the best you can be (whether an athlete or Games volunteer),
  • celebrating diversity, and
  • creating a bridge for the future

Among the many issues on officials’ minds is communication, and efforts are on-going boost the capacity for translation (written) and interpretation (oral). According to the Japan Times, a voice interpretation app is planned for ambulance crews. ABC News reports that an English village will be created to boost the number of language volunteers available to meet the needs of visitors, a topic the Japan Times has also discussed.

One of the cultural concepts that will be on display during the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games is omotenashi, the Japanese concept of hospitality that is discussed in a Michelin Guide article. There are two generally accepted theories on the origin of the word omotenashi. One is that the word comes from omote (demeanor) + nashi (nothing), meaning that you are hiding nothing and expressing your true feelings. The other is explained in Japanese at wabi-sabi . Accordign to this theory, the o is the polite prefix, followed by mote (bring) + nashi (accomplish), which means something like “bring (feelings as well as material objects) and accomplish,” wrapped up in a polite term.

Regardless of which theory is correct, the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will doubtlessly be a great event filled with omotenashi and fun for all.

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