Monday, December 10, 2018

"Progress and Harmony for Mankind"

"Tower of the Sun" by the late Taro Okamoto welcomes visitors 
at the entrance of the Expo' 70 Commemorative Park, Suita City, Osaka.  
It was built both as an entrance and a pavilllion for the exposition.

Expo' 70 Image via here
Some of you would raise a question; why does it have such a grimace 
instead of cheerful smiles when welcoming people?  
Taro Okamoto used to say; “Art is an explosion!”; “Art is a mystery.”  
He was much more attracted to the primitive beauty of the Jomom Period.

As his saying, the Tower of the Sun has been a mystery in spite of its popularity.
It has three faces; the past (back side), present (middle part), future (the top face) of the human race.  
The sun is an entity as a life-giving source throughout the history.

The Black Sun of everything past

The theme of the Expo' 70 was "Progress and Harmony for Mankind." 
The exposition was held during the time of Japan’s rapid economical growth. 
Have the world and Japan realized progress and harmony?  
Okamoto once stated that the slogan was a contradiction in terms.  
What is thought to be progress could be regress
when not in harmony with nature.

- From 自然文化園 Natural and Cultural Garden of the Expo Park -

Inside of the “Tower of the Sun,” he exhibited an artwork titled “Tree of Life,” 
which depicts the evolution of the humankind from bottom to top.  
Instead of exhibiting portraits of world heroes, as had been planned, 
he chose to decorate the tree with masks, statues and everyday objects from all over the world. 
There was also the fourth face, the Sun of the Underworld, as inner spiritual world of humans, 
which disappeared right after the end of the exposition.

Incidentally, there is another sun in a huge mural “Myth of Tomorrow”,
which was created approximately the same time with the Tower of the Sun.
 It had long been thought lost, but was discovered in the suburb of Mixco in the autumn of 2003.
 The another sun is the momental sun on the earth, or tragic man-made flash.
 The mural is about the atomic-bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
which reminds me of Guernica by Picasso. 

Back to the talk of the Tower of the Sun, in spite of the claims to be demolished
due to deterioration in long years, it was preserved and the repairs ended in 1995.  
The inside of the renovated tower was opened to the public in March, 2018.
 More details; here

- From the Japanese Garden of the park-
The pond surface is beautiful both mysteriously and delightfully.

Some of the plants along the path around the pond

I’m thankful to the technological advancement but some of them could destroy 
not only nature but also all the living things including human species. 
 Our lives have gotten merrier richer, and more convenient on one side 
but filthier, more miserable, and more dangerous on the other.

My youngest grandchild M turned one-year-old yesterday.
When Expo 2025 takes place in Osaka once again after a half century, 
she'll be eight-year-old.
How will be the world and Japan for the young generation?
We must earnestly and intently sow the seeds of peace and well-being
 so that future generation can harvest.

The Golden Mask of the future Sun is staring at you.
I'll end this post with the excerpt from “Progress and harmony” (1979) by Godiego.

We took off gloriously
For progress and harmony
Like a giant silver spaceship
Lifting up on all our hopes
Our eyes look up to see
The promise of our future course
What a grand beginning it was
Waving flags of every nation
But as it lifted higher
We lost communication
We took off gloriously
For progress and harmony

Where did that spaceship go?
And are we looking for it now?
Can we trace it to the beginning?
Is it still floating around?

This is my last post of this year.
See you in 2019!

Linked to Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday
Thank you Angie and Ladyfi respectively for taking care of the meme.


  1. A beautiful, reflective post. I enjoyed all your photos especially of the fall foliage an your granddaughter. I hope for her sake and for all the children of the world that we grown ups can learn to live in peace, harmony and kindness to nature. Sending you love and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

  2. The Tower of the Sun is an interesting structure, full of symbolism and beauty. Your one-year-old granddaughter is very sweet. Yes, we hope for peace and harmony for mankind in all corners of the world. It seems very elusive and fragile. The autumn forest is beautiful with colour - nature is a wonderful solace in difficult times.
    Have a good week,

  3. Beautiful words and thoughts !
    Your pictures are amazing and your grandchild, adorable !
    Wish you all the best for 2019 !

  4. Hello, The Tower of the Sun is beautiful. Your grandchildren are adorable, cute mosaic. I hope all have the chance to live in peace and harmony. Protecting our children's future and nature is important to me. Lovely post and photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

  5. Looks like exciting! Beautifully colored trees;-) Have a nice new week

  6. The Expo thought-provoking work of art is enhanced by your explanations and photographs, stardust. Progress and harmony do seem like contradictory terms unless progress means bringing in what’s helpful to nature technologically and abandoning practices that are destructive to the globe. I wonder if humankind will step up to the task when I see quibbling over carbon tax. We can’t live in peace without a planet to call home so I hope we come to terms with what’s needed to be done for the health of future generations like your grandchildren. My warmest best wishes to you and yours, stardust. I look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

  7. This is a very thoughtful post on which to end 2018 Yoko - these problems that are in our world today are so confusing and complex. I have similar thoughts and in particular I too have great concerns for my grandchildren.
    Your youngest granddaughter M is a delightful little girl, and I wish her and all of our youngsters that peace and harmony will be their future.

  8. Fantastic images and great words. I absolutely love that last image!

  9. The sun images were fascinating and thought-provoking - and I think the best art creates thought and discussion! There is a profound need around the world to consider our actions and how they affect the human race and the planet on which we live - for all the future generations to come. I adore the picture of the 'mysterious' pond - each time I look at it, I see something different. Thanks for contributing such a wonderful post to Mosaic Monday this week, and we'll see you in 2019!

  10. Very interesting post. Progress and harmony are hard to combine, in my opinion. I love your floating leaves. Your grandchild is adorable <3 Wishing you and your family a happy Holiday Season.

  11. images of "primitive" look so wonderful.
    lovely garden with autumn colors.
    you are so lucky with your awesome kids.

    have a great day

  12. That sculpture is a delight! I also love your magical autumn shots.

  13. The sculpture is quite thought-provoking. Yes we must promote peace and harmony, it is so important if we want the world to be there for our children and grandchildren, like little sweet M. We benefit so much from all the recent technological advances, but we must make sure they respect the planet we live on.

  14. Dear Yoko, your meditations ring like an echo in my soul. I would rather believe that rapid changes in our world would be for the better. They should! Otherwise, what’s the point of them?
    The way you choose angles for your pictures is unbeatable. And M is a little Miracle! Does she walk already?!
    I wish you and your family a healthy happy new year! Let it be kind to all of us!
    Warmest wishes from Doctor B))
    PS. Thank you for Shiki’s haiku, I love it! I responded to your comment.

  15. Beautiful photos.
    May progress only bring harmony and a better quality of life for all.
    Although a bit late I leave my congratulations to your lovely grandchild.
    I wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.
    Warm hug
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  16. こんばんは。素敵な写真の数々ですね。岡本太郎氏は彼の著書「日本の伝統」で初めて縄文土器の芸術的な美を発見した方ですが、彼の太陽の塔は縄文時代の土偶の美しさには全然及びません。

  17. 太陽の塔、はるばる東京から万博を見に行った時以来、実際にお目にかかってません。

  18. Thanks yoko For such a nice message to say goodbye to the year. The photos are beautiful and your grandson is very handsome. Thanks to the advances of today, we can communicate with the whole world and make friends.
    Good question. How will everything be in more years?
    Te deseo una Feliz Navidad con tu familis. Nos vemos en 2019.

    1. Hello dear Yoko!
      I love your posts and photos.
      It is with great pleasure that I visit you.
      In a dozen or so days will be New Year 2019 and you will come back to the blog again.
      Hugs and greetings.

  19. I like the mysterious statues and am glad the one that might have been demolished was renovated and saved. See you in the New Year.

  20. Hello Dear Yoko!
    I wish you Christmas filled with magic, wonder and love.

  21. Happy Birthday to your grandchild.

    The tower of sun... interesting name. But i see it depends on mood of the person looking. Some mayb see it as grimace but can be seen as thinking too

  22. Hi Yoko, well I guess I'm the only one who really doesn't like the tower of the sun. The symbolism is good, is wise and thought-provoking, but the tower itself doesn't reach out to me. Your message here is one of reflection and hopes for the future.

    Love your little granddaughter and all your pics. The pond ones are lovely as are the leaves and all of nature.

    Have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to your posts in the New Year. Love and Light

  23. The tower of the sun is such an intriguing art work and it looks even more so when seen from different angles. I like the mystical metaphorical thought it conveys - that of evolution through a cycle of life. The artist's vision is truly commendable in that he proposed the progress of humankind through peace and harmony. All your pictures echo the same thoughts dear Yoko - be it the still reflections in the pond or the mosaic of flowers - it reminds us to be mindful of the magic in nature. Belated birthday wishes to your grandchild - how adorable the little angel! We, I and Otousan, often reminisce the wonderful times we spent with all of you. Hope you've been well and wish you and your family a very happy and blessed 2019!

  24. Dear Yoko!
    Hope you have a great New Year 2019.
    Let the celebration begin. May all your dreams come true!

  25. Dear Yoko, I cannot believe a year has already passed. Happy Birthday to your Granddaughter. She is a beauty, and I'm sure is a joy to her family. This quote speaks to me: "What is thought to be progress could be regress
    when not in harmony with nature." Let us work together for a harmonious future. Happy 2019!

  26. お孫さん、可愛らしいですね。 今が一番好い時です。


  27. Expecraculares fots.Feliz Año

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  30. What a great post...there is so much to see and absorb here. And the colors are fabulous. I love the train, too. We don't have such and that makes me mad. Hope that you are doing well. I'm still suffering from a multitude of physical ailments. Aargh!

  31. Great work.
    i like these pictures.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. It seems to me a progress not to build to demolish a short time. Then it is great that the Tower of the Sun has been restored and we find here news about it, the context that was built and details about the message to which it is linked, the artworks that are inside ... I , particularly, like its aura of mystery and and I recognize that although in it we do not find a wink of the most kind this faces are not empty of attractiveness. Progress as the tower has several faces. So I share your thoughts. Progress, however, depends to a certain extent on us and in us is the key to leaving a good inheritance to the new generations. If your grandson and granddaughters in the future have the opportunity to visit the posts of this blog I am convinced that they will find good reasons to join this line of thought.


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