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  • Cirieco Design
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TOM mascots

With the Tokyo Olympics all set to start as of 23rd July 2021, The Olympic Museum in Lausanne has an amazing exhibit around the Japanese culture of Mangas.

Believe it or not, the hosting of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo was already mentioned in the 1980s in the science fiction manga Akira by Otomo Katsuhiro – 40 years in advance!

Numerous Japanese authors and publishers are featured in this exhibition, which makes the Sport X Manga project a rare and original experience. The Olympic Museum thanks Kodansha, Shogakukan and Shueisha for their kind assistance.

The exhibition is clustered around the Olympic and Paralympic mascots, placed in the centre. As ambassadors for the Games, they demonstrate the close link between manga and Japanese society.

The Manga for Dummies corner offers newbies an introduction to manga: its origins, history, codes and relationship with Japanese society and the world of art.

The nine 3D manga panels present nine major sports manga and help to trace the evolution of this cultural phenomenon in Japanese society from 1945 to the present day. The stories and characters featured in these manga illustrate the eras in which they were created. This section also shows to what extent the heroes had an influence on real life, and vice versa.

TOM manga


  • Batto-kun, Inoue Kazuo
  • Igaguri-kun, Fukui Eiichi
  • Kyojin no Hoshi, Kajiwara Ikki / Kawasaki Noboru
  • Attack No.1, Urano Chikako
  • Ashita no Joe, Takamori Asao / Chiba Tetsuya
  • Touch, Adachi Mitsuru
  • Captain Tsubasa, Yoichi Takahashi 
  • Yawara!, Urasawa Naoki
  • Slam Dunk, Inoue Takehiko

The Japan X Manga film summarises post-War Japan and how sports manga has evolved, through a series of archive images and manga extracts on a giant screen.

The Discovery space for further exploration: for fans or those with an inquisitive mind, there are three interactive terminals, which allow visitors to explore around 100 sports manga titles to learn more about the characters, authors and the relationship that Japanese society has with sport.

Exclusive interviews with three mangakas and an editor give an insight into the process of creating manga from a more personal perspective.

Paralympic sports in manga: for Tokyo 2020, many mangakas have created manga on Paralympic sports and Paralympians – themes that are still not widely covered in the media.

A series of devices invite visitors to:

  • Replicate Captain Tsubasa’s special moves
  • Discover the facial expressions of the characters created by Osamu Tezuka
  • Listen to onomatopoeia sounds
  • Three photobooths, in the shape of Japanese “capsule hotels”, invite the visitor
    to take a selfie inspired by kaki moji.

TOM entrace 2021

When the Olympic Games were organised in Tokyo in 1964, the elements chosen to present Japanese culture stemmed from the traditional arts. The country was then in the midst of social reform, modernity synonymous with western influence, reconstruction and technological research. Today, Japanese culture has become a byword for a fantasy world full of exceptional heroes. It is therefore natural that the imagery for the Tokyo 2020 Games should draw on a dynamic and colourful aesthetic. With indigo chequerboard patterns for the Olympic Games and pink for the Paralympic Games, these mascots have magical powers: teleportation, the ability to communicate with the natural elements, and telekinesis...

These mascots are the perfect embodiment of kawaii imagery, where tradition and modernity come together, redefining Japanese culture. The name Miraitowa combines the Japanese words mirai (future) and towa (eternity) to symbolise faith in a bright future. Someity is an anglicisation of the Japanese term for the famous white cherry blossom, “somei-yoshino”, and echoes the expression “so mighty”.

Live broadcast of the Games Opening Ceremony on 23 July (12h-20h) and exclusive concert by Japanese Afrobeat group Ajate.

For three weeks, there is an opportunity to experience the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Every day, the Games will be broadcast live in the Galerie, and cultural workshops and experiences linked to various facets of Japanese culture will be organised.

Summer Olympics: 23 July through 8 August 2021
Summer Paralympics: 24 August through 5 September 2021
Sport Manga exhibit: 18 March through 21 November 2021

The Olympic Museum
Quai d’Ouchy 1
1006 Lausanne

Open 9h to 18h
Tuesday to Sunday, closed Monday