Recently Found Ceramic Work Likely Created By Late Sculptor Taro Okamoto

Recently found ceramic work likely created by late sculptor Taro OkamotoA ceramic piece believed to have been created by contemporary artist Taro Okamato who is well-known for his "Tower of the Sun" masterpiece has been found in the Shigaraki district of Koka.
A ceramic museum in Shiga Prefecture is now displaying the work that was likely done by Okamoto (1911-96) during a period when he worked at a company involved in traditional Shigaraki ware.

Officials of the Shigaraki-yaki Promotion and Development Conference announced the finding on Sept. 18.

The ceramic piece was in the possession of an individual affiliated with Oumi Kagaku Toki Inc., a company based in the Shigaraki district. Okamoto began creating works at the company from about 1960.

Okamoto's famed "Tower of the Sun" artwork, which stands 70 meters high, served as a lasting symbol of the 1970 World Exposition in Suita, Osaka Prefecture. Today, it stands on the site of the expo at the Expo '70 Commemorative Park.

The newly uncovered ceramic piece is 26 centimeters high and weighs 5.2 kilograms.

The "Black Sun" relief attached to the back of the tower representing the past was created by Okamoto in the Shigaraki district.

The ceramic work found only has the facial part in place, with the back part of the head apparently having fallen off. Okamoto may have signed the work on that back part, so the missing piece makes confirmation that it was done by him difficult.

However, the possibility that the piece is by Okamoto is high because the owner insists the work was given to him directly by the renowned artist. An analysis of how the piece was fashioned also provides evidence that Okamoto created it.

"The owner had close ties with Taro Okamoto so the possibility is high (the work is by Okamoto) since that individual possessed it," said an official with the Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum in Tokyo.

The ceramic piece will be on display until Sept. 30 along with the special exhibition about Okamoto and Shigaraki ware now being held at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park.

Admission is free.