- He graduated from the University of Tsukuba in 1984, earning a BSc in biology.
- He graduated from the Institute of Psychology in 1991, earning a PhD degree in psychology.
- In 2006 at the 9th L'ORÉAL Art and Science of Color Prize, he received the “Gold Prize,” the highest honor.
- In 2007, the Japanese Society of Cognitive Psychology gave him the Award for Original Studies.
- In 2003, he astounded the word by creating the “Rotating Snakes” illusion.
From all of his numerous accomplishments, the achievement that earned him worldwide renown was the creation of the “Rotating Snakes” illusion. Do you ever wonder how he came upon this illusion? What was his thought process? What was he thinking when he began to experiment with visual illusions?
Most likely, just like everyone else, you were too captivated and engrossed in the illusion that such a thought might have not occurred to you. However, it occurred to us and we bet to a select few other individuals that wanted to gain an insight on how the “Rotating Snakes” illusion came about.
The Making of the “Rotating Snakes” Illusion
That year, he had immersed himself in books, studies, and research papers all related to spiral illusions. Naturally, he wanted to create a greeting card, using spiral illusions as his basis for the cover design. He drew rabbits in a spiral pattern, naming it “U-zu.” In “U-zu,” “U” means rabbit, “zu” means image, and together the word stands for spiral. Surprisingly, he was oblivious to what he had created that day, until it dawned on him in 2002.
The Light Bulb Moment
In December 2002, he published the book “Trick Eyes,” and included the rabbit spiral in it. His illusion gained instant popularity amongst the masses, but Kitaoka thought he could create a more impactful illusion, which is what he did in 2003. He drew the “Rotating Snakes,” and it broke the internet. It became one of the most talked about illusions, gaining worldwide exposure.
Now, Kitaoka wants people to attempt drawing their own spiral illusions. Even if the illusion doesn’t look anywhere close to the “Rotating Snakes,” he says that people should enjoy creating spiral illusions and not worry about the imperfections.