Posted by Dawn O'Bar on Sep 22, 2017

Japanese Artist, Junkyu Muto Creates PEACE Sculptures
After a recent visit to Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming, I was interested in knowing more about the sculptor that created the “Circle of Sacred Smoke” that frames the 800 ft. tower of rock.
Before I share the Peace sculptures, I’d like to begin with a bit about this interesting artist.   Junkyu was born in 1950 in Sendai, Japan.  He graduated from the University of Fine Arts of Tokyo., Japan Design Department.   He traveled and lived in both France and Spain and finally decided to settle in Italy and owned a studio in Rome.  Muto has lived in Italy for the past 35 years. He moved there to study classical works of such artists as Michelangelo and to work with white carrara marble, which is only available in Italy.  The marble, which comes from the Carrarra Mountains in Italy, is the only kind Muto uses for his carvings. He calls it the "best marble in the world."
Mr. Muto had a vision of doing 7 sculptures in the world and for world peace.  The first one was for the Vatican. In 2000, his sculpture “Circle Wind” was accepted as a dedication gift to Pope and permanently installed in the Papal Summer Villa in Castelgandolfo.  It was the very first time the Vatican installed such an abstract sculpture and it made Junkyu a well-known artist in the world.
 “Circle Wind”
The second one was where Buddha was born. “Circle Wind PAX2005” was installed in front of the Golden Pavilion of MII-Temple.  It was placed there until September, 2005 and then transferred to India.  In 2006 、his sculpture was installed in Buddha Gaya – World Heritage.
“Circle Wind PAX2005”
And the third one came about because he was so enthralled and interested in the Native American culture and what we do here in the United States.   He chose Devil’s Tower because he felt it was a sacred site.   He wanted this to be a gift from the Japanese Government to the United States for World Peace.
The 12-foot sculpture represents the first circle of smoke ascending from a peace pipe, Muto said. The peace pipe has spiritual meaning for Native Americans, who consider Devils Tower a sacred mountain.  Muto said he felt chills the first time he went to Devils Tower and was inspired to carve a sculpture for it.  "I felt a great impression looking (at) the Devils Tower," he said.  "When I saw Devils Tower, my imagination was so natural." In 2008, this Circle of Smoke was dedicated in Wyoming.

Here’s a photo of his work in Devil’s Tower.
For more of his story, please enjoy this short video.

(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).

One artist creating PEACE.



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