In 1957, five years after he discovered Jōmon culture, Tarō Okamoto set out on a trip in search of the true essence of Japanese culture and the first place he visited was the Tōhoku region, where he encountered ‘primeval Japan’.
Tōhoku was a poor region, cut off from the rest of the country in the winter, but there he discovered a ‘spirit of magic’ in dialog with an invisible power, still existed.
Having caught a glimpse of primeval Japan in the Tōhoku region, Tarō next found that the same spirit had been inherited by Okinawa. After his second visit to Tōhoku in 1962, he became convinced that the spirit of the Jōmon period still existed in the blood of the Japanese people. This experience was to decide the future direction of Tarō’s art and led directly to the creation of the ‘Tower of the Sun’.
The Tōhoku captured by Tarō Okamoto’s eye sixty years ago represents a solid and rich Japan. We may never have seen it ourselves but it is not irrelevant to us because it is our Japan and part of our true being as Japanese.
We hope that you will come and experience this ‘True Japan’ that has been cut out and preserved through eyes of Tarō Okamoto.
Akiomi Hirano, Director,
Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum