Taro Okamoto is one of the most important and most influential Japanese artists from the 20th century.
He started working on "Asu no shinwa" in 1968 and completed in 1969 in Mexico. It was to cover a lobby wall of the new opening hotel in Mexico city. However the construction of the hotel was never completed due to the financial reasons of the hotel owner and Taro-san's mural was left inside the unfinished hotel and went missing.
The mural is called "Asu no shinwa" which means "Myth of Tomorrow" and it depicts the moment of an atomic bomb explosion. "Asu no shinwa" is the largest and most important piece of Taro-san's work.

Miraculously, the mural was found after 30 years by his wife who was searching for it for many many years. It was finally shipped to Japan in 2005, restoration began soon after the arrival and was re-born after a year.
Today, anyone can see "Asu no Shinwa". And guess where? At Shibuya station! This 30-metre-long mural appeared in Shibuya station for permanent installation in November 2008 where 300 thousand people walk pass every day infront of it. It's just so powerful and has such strong message, everytime I walk pass it I get so overwhelmed not just by its size. It was quite surprising that this place was chosen for the permanet installation but I really like it being there and I love looking at it with so many people passing by.
First three images are from Asunoshinwa official website. Bottom three were taken by me about 6 months ago.


  1. What a great history! 300,000 people pass through Shibuya station? that's an astounding number!

    By the way, I gave you an award at my blog :)
    Your blog really makes my day. Happier.

    -Jen Laceda

  2. wow! i have never heard of him, but his work looks so amazing and important. i think that is great to ave the mural in such a public place. i don't know if they'd ever do that over here.

  3. Jen Laceda - Well yes 300,000 people... amazing isn't it? but there are 12 million people in the entire tokyo and maybe that's even more crazy?? haha.
    Oh, thank you for an award, that's so sweet of you!!!!

    Anna - I never thought in Japan we would have such important work of art in the public space (and it's statinon!) so it was surprising, but I think the artist wanted to tell the peace message to the world so maybe he's happy this work is open to the public....

  4. a really interesting story.
    it'll mean more when (if) i go through shibuya station :)

  5. wonderful - thanks for telling this amazing story!

  6. so interesting! im thinking that all the metro stations should have some art pieces. so many people go through them. some stations in st.petersburg's metro are so beautiful. unfortunately, you can't take pictures there.

  7. Mary - Many people don't even give a glance but if you know it i guess you can enjoy ;)

    Bree - it is an interesting story, isn't it?

    monaka - I'd love to see metro stations in st.petersburg! pitty they don't allow photographs though in the public space!

  8. the hotel in México was finished, i'ts now the World Trade Center, how can a piece like this got lost 30 years e.e ? everyone knows that 68-7X where hard times in the world, Europe and Latin America, ive done some research, the World Trade Center construction was delayed for The 68 Olympics, the main Tower was finished in 72, but never worked as an hotel as it was planned, the politic trouble in México were a factor too, did someone stole it?, ill keep researching.


your kind words are always welcome and appreciated! arigato :)