At the end of August, when the logo for World Expo 2025 – to be held in Osaka, western Japan – was unveiled, Japanese social media reacted with horror at first, but ultimately embraced the quirky and unusual design.
The winning design, candidate “E” (see tweet below), chosen from a list of five logos, provoked various reactions of confusion when the decision was announced:
Yall, why did they choose E when they had so many beautiful choices? We are so confuuused.
Which one would you have chosen? pic.twitter.com/ZtVrnJxeMh
– Kurly in Kansai (@KurlyInKansai) August 26, 2020
Why did they choose the E when they had so many nice options? We are very confused.
Which one would you have chosen?
The world exhibitions, held roughly every four years in various locations around the world since 1851, last six months, typically attract millions of visitors, and are designed to showcase the achievements of participating countries.
The World Expo 2025 logo, which looks like a red donut with blue eyes, bears the official name of 命 の 輝 き (inochi no kagayaki, which means “the brightness of life”). However, Japanese tweeters have dubbed it koroshite-kun, which would be translated as “Lord, please kill me”)
Nick Kapur, an expert on the history of Japan and the Far East, whose tweets about strange, unusual or simply interesting events often go viral, collected several memes on the subject, which met in a long and detailed Twitter thread.
Kapur noted that many memes influenced the logo's grotesque or potentially creepy connotations, such as this parody of Parasyte, a sci-fi horror manga:
EXPO 2025 Osaka reveals the logo.
…… it's Shimada in Parasyte? pic.twitter.com/BkIbO68XgE
– otakujp (@otakucalendarjp) August 25, 2020
EXPO 2025 presents the logo.
… Is Shimada in Parasyte?
But not everyone was scared by the logo: one person used the design to weave a necklace to his cat:
大阪 万博 の ロ ゴ 「命 の 輝 き」 編 ん だ 🧶 pic.twitter.com/iFQU8ctgeu
– と ざ わ み ー こ (よ し え だ 製作 所) (@ yoshieda1394) August 25, 2020
I have knitted the logo for the Osaka Expo.
The Osaka 2025 logo also inspired creativity in the kitchen:
– Ann 杏 Kilzer (@stonecoldkilzer) August 29, 2020
Here, making a caprese (salad), nothing noteworthy.
A pastry enthusiast made cookies:
小麦 粉 と バ タ ー と 砂糖 と 卵 の 混合物 に 命 を 吹 き 込 ん で み ま し た。
– 砂 鼠 ＠ き み 選 辞退 し ま す ご め ん な さ い (@ Nirone7C2C) August 25, 2020
A little flour, butter, sugar and eggs bring the logo to life! The “brightness of life” (inochi no kagayaki) is ready to eat!
Another social media user created an augmented reality character for iPhone based on the logo:
あ い つ を 召喚 で き る AR つ く っ た よ
– Keisuke Terashima #KeepDistanceRuler (@kskee) August 26, 2020
I've created an augmented reality character that can summon (the logo). IPhone users can download it at the link.
Someone else created an 8-bit video game:
– 21 @ Skeb 募集 中 (@ 444th_spare21) August 25, 2020
“Destroy the eye!”
The resemblance between the logo and real things did not go unnoticed:
Many people pointed out how the logo looks similar to the Amazon Rainforest fruit guarana.
– Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) August 29, 2020
Many people have pointed out how much the logo looks like a tropical Amazonian fruit called guarana
Others tried to imagine what the logo would feel like after being ridiculed on social media:
ｺ ﾛ ｼ ﾃ く ん pic.twitter.com/IwpLWEjJNk
– 関 西風 う ど ん 🛡📕🥃⚡🦌🧲 (@Umai_TanTanMen) August 25, 2020
(Text in the bullets)
Mr. “Kill me now”: (cries when hearing the insults)
Some preferred to look at the bright side of the new logo:
As weird as the 2025 Kansai Expo logo is, at least it isn’t as mind-numbingly boring as the 2005 Aichi Expo one was. pic.twitter.com/0BfPCX5Ve7
– SamuraiGodzilla (@Samuraigodzilla) August 26, 2020
As rare as the Expo 2025 logo is, at least it's not as overwhelmingly boring as the Aichi Expo 2005 one was.