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The inspiration for Taro Okamoto’s “Tower of the Sun” was a totem pole! (2011, Yonimoto Ai, interviewed)

Taro Okamoto’s inspiration for the Tower of the Sun was a totem pole!

Ten years ago, in 2011, I visited the home (in Kamata) of Ai Shijimoto (101 years old at the time), the mother of the genius editor Shoji Otomo (who created the Ultraman boom), and at the entrance was a painting by the painter and manga artist Ippei Okamoto.

In the reception area was a totem pole that Ippei’s son, Taro Okamoto, had bought as a souvenir from Vancouver. According to Mr. Ai, this became one of the motifs for the “Tower of the Sun” that was later used at the 1970 Osaka World’s Fair. I was astonished!

In 1968, to celebrate JAL’s first flight to Vancouver, Ai’s husband, an international ci Two of the invited guests were also invited: Hachiro Yotsumoto, a ゙analyst゙at the time 77 years old, and artist Taro Okamoto, 57 at the time.

Although sketches of the Tower of the Sun existed in 1967, there is no doubt that this trip was a great inspiration to Taro for the entire Tower of the Sun.

The two of them explored the city of Vancouver for the first time without the tour.
The vast Stanley Park Park. Within it, there are eight totem poles by seven tribes, including the indigenous Haida tribe.

It was originally erected in front of a house to transmit ancestral legends and family crests. The carvings include orcas, bears, frogs, and other animals, people, and masks that symbolize each tribe.

When Taro Okamoto saw this, he returned to Japan with the same excitement as he had for Okinawan culture and Jomon pottery. He brought back many totem poles, one of which was displayed in the Yonjimoto House.

When I was sorting through my hard drive, I found this photo of Ippei Okamoto, so I compiled it into an article.
P.S. By the way, I checked my DNA and my ancestry is Haida.

Gene’s Journey of Self-Discovery: I was a descendant of the Haida tribe… I was a descendant of the Haida tribe…”
◆ Reference
Article covering the opening of the Tower of the Sun to the public.

Mook Book “Remix Shonen Magazine Dai Zukyu” (1992): Dots and Lines by Masaru Uchida and Shoji Otomo
I met Ms. Ai Shijimoto, the mother of Shoji Otomo, the genius editor who died young and was nicknamed “Dr. Kaiju” (Dr. Monster). (2011.0422)