Rediscover Tohoku to TOKYO

Project Story

In 2020, Mocco will arrive in Tokyo from Tohoku.
Mocco came into existence through workshops and was developed by the imagination of the children of Tohoku.
A creation of Tohoku, Mocco stands approximately 10 meters tall.

At each point on the journey to Tokyo, via Rikuzen-Takata (Iwate),
Iwanuma (Miyagi), and Minami-Soma (Fukushima),
Mocco will come into contact with many different people and encounter lots of wonderful Tohoku culture.
Connecting Tokyo with Tohoku, while providing a spur to increase the number of people
who know about and visit modern Tohoku.
With a basket full of memories of hospitality, Mocco continues his journey to bring a smile to people’s faces,
to bring happiness to many people, and to bring disparate thoughts and ideas together as one.

TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL Theme: The Recovery of Tohoku
Comment from Michihiko Yanai (Creative Director)

The Tokyo 2020 Games will be the ‘Recovery Games Connecting with Tokyo and Tohoku’. We believe that one of the major missions of the Tokyo 2020 Games is to make more people aware of the current situation in Tohoku and to encourage them to visit there. I hope that the local citizens will think it was a good idea to host some of the Tokyo 2020 events in the region. It is great to share people’s smiles widely and boost their spirits with the “MOCCO” doll, cheering them up. The journey of the “MOCCO” doll will continue after the Games.


Michihiko Yanai

Yanai is a Professor and Special Advisor to the President for Educational Partnerships at the Department of Design, Tokyo University of the Arts / Creative Director. He was born in Koriyama City, Fukushima, in 1964, and has worked on a number of innovative advertising campaigns. As well as serving as the master of ceremonies on NHK's 'Top Runner' programme, he is a popular personality on various TV and radio programmes, and a guitarist for the rock band Inawashirokos. He is constantly exploring new avenues to expand the possibilities of advertising through a wide range of activities. In 2015, he was appointed as creative director for Fukushima Prefecture. He is active in the Tohoku region, holding the rock festival ‘Live Fukushima – Wind and Rock SUPER Nouma Oisaki’, which toured the prefecture for six days, and his ‘Wind and Rock Caravan Fukushima’ tour which played at 59 locations across Fukushima Prefecture.

Mocco Design

The design for Mocco came about through workshops with children from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima.
The picture book creator Ryoji Arai created a base design based on the designs by the children that participated, and the globetrotting puppeteer Noriyuki Sawa refined it into a finished work.

Base design by Ryoji Arai
Base design by Ryoji Arai
Design by Noriyuki Sawa
Design by Noriyuki Sawa
1/10th scale model of Mocco
1/10th scale model of Mocco