I have received an inquiry from a reader asking about a possible connection between Taro Okamoto (1911-1996) and Tohl Narita (1929-2002).
Taro Okamoto is a Japanese artist who is famous for his surreal artwork.
He is especially known among Japanese people as the creator of Tower of the Sun built as a symbolic statue for the Expo ’70 held in Osaka in 1970.
While I have to admit that I don’t know much about Taro Okamoto unfortunately, I don’t think their connection has ever been referred to particularly.
Nevertheless, there seem to have been people who pointed out a similarity between Tower of the Sun and Ultraman back then.
As Ultraman is a 1966-1967 TV series, it could be deemed that Taro Okamoto might have been inspired by Narita’s design in that sense.
While I liked the design of Tower of the Sun as a child and found it quite impressive even when I actually saw it in the venue, I myself didn’t think that it looked like Ultraman, though.
It is intriguing, however, that the Tree of Life, interior sculpture of Tower of the Sun, was designed by Tohl Narita.
While I couldn’t figure out descriptions showing a particular connection or relationship between the two, in my conclusion, chances are they were just Surrealist artists almost contemporary with each other rather than which influenced which.
I think it can be said both Ultraman and Tower of the Sun are the artwork created in the days when a variety of talents produced their works inspiring one another.
That may be a big feature of the time.
Incidentally, the motif of Tower of the Sun is described as a crow Okamoto kept and adored.