Ren-G, the official mascots of Rugby World Cup 2019™ have been unveiled by the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee at a special event in Tokyo today.
The mascots, which are based on traditional storytelling characters grounded in ancient Japanese culture, are said to embody rugby’s values with the purpose of spreading the spirit of the game and happiness throughout Japan and around the world.
The distinctive parent and child combination of Ren-G is set to be a big hit with fans, with mascots playing an important part in the sporting and entertainment culture in Japan, often attracting icon status.
And with strong demand for stadium and team ticket packs during the domestic rugby family application phase, the mascots will perform a central role in tournament and rugby marketing ahead of Asia’s first Rugby World Cup.
Ren-G will travel the length and breadth of Japan connecting communities with the tournament, promoting rugby and communicating the sport’s values to the population.
Host city, school and legacy programme visits will be part of a nationwide programme, while the mascot will also be a central pillar of the licensing programme.
Japan Rugby Organising Committee CEO Akira Shimazu said: “Ren-G has a very Japanese feel to it. When it was decided that Japan would play host to the Rugby World Cup, which is a first for both Japan and Asia, it brought the five values of rugby – Integrity, Passion, Solidarity, Discipline, and Respect – together with the ancient spirit of Japan and our mascot was born.
“As Ren-G embodies the values of rugby, they will spread the spirit of rugby from Japan to Asia and to the rest of the world and will help us with building excitement towards Rugby World Cup 2019.”
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont added: “We are delighted to welcome Ren-G to the Rugby World Cup family. It is fantastic to see rugby’s values and Japan’s traditions come together and we look forward to following their journey as they travel the length and breadth of the country sharing the spirit of rugby.”
The Ren-G story
The concept of Ren-G is based on sacred, lion-like creatures from Japanese mythology called shishi that are said to bring happiness and ward off evil and are widely depicted throughout Japanese culture.
Ren, the father with white hair, and G, the red-headed son, embody the five values of rugby (integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect), their very purpose in life is to spread the spirit of rugby from Japan to Asia and to the rest of the world.
Their strong connection to the game is represented in their faces which take on the shape of a rugby ball. Their story is grounded in ideas of strength, courage, camaraderie and overcoming adversity.