National

National treasures featured on Japan's 2020 Olympics commemorative coin

by Satoshi Sugiyama

Staff Writer

Works depicting the famous gods of wind and thunder have been selected as new designs for commemorative ¥500 coins to be made to celebrate the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Finance Ministry announced Monday.

The pair of drawings — based on the “Wind God and Thunder God Screens,” painted by Tawaraya Sotatsu in the 17th century, which is registered as a national treasure — won with 28,741 votes from the public in a poll conducted by post, Twitter and other methods. The other candidates were images of Mount Fuji and the new National Stadium, which received 16,451 and 21,053 votes respectively, according to the ministry. Voting was held in mid-June for two weeks.

“It was our first attempt to choose a coin design via a public vote, so we hope the coin will contribute to the excitement around the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games,” a Finance Ministry official said.

“The three options were all excellent designs. As the public chose the wind god and thunder god for the coins, we hope everyone will treasure the coins for many years to come.”

The commemorative Olympic coin will feature the thunder god, while the Paralympic coin will be decorated with the wind god, the ministry said.

People will be able to exchange regular ¥500 coins for the commemorative ones at banks from around July next year, the same month the 2020 Olympics begin.

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