At Shibuya Station – which 2.3 million commuters pass through everyday – is an amazing mural, Taro Okamoto’s Myth of Tomorrow (Asu no shinwa 明日の神話). Its location makes it one of the most viewed paintings. The mural symbolizes the moment of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The mural completed in 1969, was commissioned and painted in the lobby of a high rise hotel under development in Mexico City, but the developer ran into financial trouble and the hotel was not completed. Nobody saw the completed work and the mural was left inside the uncompleted hotel and went missing for 35 years. After Taro Okamoto’s death, his wife started a search for the mural and the mural was found in an abandoned Mexico City warehouse. Taro Okamoto’s wife orchestrated the mural’s return to Japan but passed while the painting was being shipped from Mexico. The painting was restored – a difficult task since nobody still living had seen the painting in its original condition.
Update: By coincidence, I have posted this the day before the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.