Artist in Hotel

Artist in Hotel

— The Park Hotel Tokyo, in December 2012, started the “Artist in Hotel” project where an artist decorates an entire guest rooms.  All the guest rooms on the 31st floor will be so decorated.  For my performance I reproduced one of the pieces I created for the Artist Room “One Hundred Poems by Masako Inkyo.”


“The truth is, hiragana really has this kind of freedom.” It was as though this thought physically struck me in the back of the head the first time I saw the room she created. This was at the very beginning of the “Artist in Hotel” project to, basically, turn hotel rooms into works of art, putting words and images directly onto their walls and ceilings. We had no idea how it would turn out and were desperately looking for artists who had the ability to undertake this challenge. It was during this time that I was brought together with Master Inkyo. She presented an innovative plan.

First, treat the walls as folding screens. Then, have a Milky Way of kana flow across the sky along with clouds pouring down rain of one hundred poems from one hundred poets. Across the front wall, the seasons would be represented by the classic Japanese word “Setsugekka”, meaning “snow, moon, flower”, which alludes to the seasons. The overall theme would be the classic text “One Hundred Poets, One Hundred Poems” (Hyakunin Isshu). It was perfect for our goal of introducing the beauty of Japan to visitors from other countries. This is how the room was transformed into a beautiful art space.

There is nothing else I can say about it. The delicacy and strength of the writings and their beauty backed up by such technical skill. Even if written vertically on the walls, her writing loses none of its power. I truly thank you, Master Inkyo. It is my hope to share your work with many guests.”


Atsushi Ono

Hotel Manager, Park Hotel Tokyo

Wayou / 和洋

Wayou / 和洋


— Into Project: The history of Japanese calligraphy developed under the influence of Chinese calligraphy techniques.  As Japanese culture and social systems evolved in the mid-Heian period (around the 10th century), the renowned calligraphers Ono no Tofu, Fujiwara no Sari, and Fujiwara no Kozei established the style of calligraphy named Wayou (Lit. Japanese-style).  From then on, the tradition of Wayou became central to the history of calligraphy in Japan.


Genji monogatari


A prominent feature of Wayou is the ancient writing system named Manyogana, which employs Chinese characters to phonetically represent the Japanese language.  The characters used in Manyogana look exactly like their Chinese counterparts, but no longer carry their original meaning.  Rather, they represent the sounds of the syllables used in the Japanese language, analogous to how Hiragana and Katakana are used today.

In this exhibition shodo artist Masako Inkyo will introduce the Manyogana writing system in the form of a classic work of Japanese literature named Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji).  This work was written entirely in Manyogana by the Japanese noble woman and lady-in-making Murasaki Shikibu in the early years of the 11th century, around the peak of the Heian period.  It is sometimes called the world’s first novel, the first modern novel and the first psychological novel and presents a unique depiction of the livelihoods of high courtiers during the Heian period.