One Hundred Poems

No. 7 by Masako Inkyo

In the seventh project, calligrapher Masako Inkyo residing in New York decorated a room based on the theme of an ancient anthology of 100 traditional Japanese poems by 100 poets.
Inkyo showed Japanese aesthetics by using Japanese “kana” characters, saying, “I wanted to express the elegance of aristocrats in the Heian period.” The Japanese syllabary is said to have blossomed in the period (794-1192).
She completed the room during her stay at the hotel from April 16 to 22, 2014. Respecting the orthodox style of calligraphy, Inkyo also produces works with a free and creative mind. She used the guest room walls as if they were folding screens to confidently arrange the room space, writing the 100 poems in numerical order on the entrance wall and drawing big “kanji” characters for snow, moon and flower on the bedroom walls to represent the four seasons in Japan. Guests lying on the bed can see golden “kana” characters of shooting stars lighting up the ceiling painted in black. On another bedroom wall, poems from the anthology are written with letters representing rain drops. She also put up a hanging scroll by the window to create a space like a “tokonoma” alcove. Guests will be able to feel the four seasons and nature by looking at the stars on the ceiling, snow, moon and flower as well as rain on the bedroom walls and Mt. Fuji in snow in the bathroom while staying at the hotel in urban settings.
Please discover the beauty of the Japanese “kana” characters at the Artist Room One Hundred Poems.

Staff recommendation comment

What image comes to your mind when you hear the room “One Hundred Poems”?
Today I would like to introduce you to this room that was inspired by an old Japanese poem (waka) book called “One Hundred Poems” arranged by Fujiwara-no Teika. The book is a collection of 100 poems written by the best poets from Asuka period (6th-7th century) to Kamakura period (12th -14th century). One of my favorite poems is No.61 and the English translation goes as the following: “From the ancient capital of Nara, eight-fold cherries, − today, inside the nine-fold palace bloom in the most beautiful of colours!” The poem expresses the unforgettable beauty of the cherry blossoms of Nara. The cherry blossoms that have always been appreciated by different people around the world. The ‘eight-fold cherries’ from the poem are called Yae-Sakura blossoms, which are one of my favorite flowers. If you visit us in spring, you can enjoy Yae-Sakura in Hamarikyu Gardens that are located close to Park Hotel Tokyo. The artist Masako Inkyo is a calligrapher who lives in New York. Despite her busy schedule, she came to Japan to create “One Hundred Poems”, the room that is transmitting a message of the four seasons in Japan via poems. When you enter the room, you will see three Chinese characters of “雪月花”(Setsu-gekka) on the wall. These words mean ‘Snow’, ‘Moon’, and ‘Flower’, which is a metonym used in describing the beauty of Japanese sceneries. Surrounding the three characters are the one hundred poems. According to the artist, writing them down in a careful way was very challenging work. By the way, have you noticed poems elegantly hidden in the rain? What about the beautiful hiragana script stars on the ceiling? There is plenty to enjoy in this room, from elegant calligraphy and poems to the beauty of the Japanese four seasons. I hope it can inspire you to find your own favorite poem or maybe even try to write one by yourself!

Room #3119  |  Completion Date: April 2014

Artist's Message

With the grace of the Heian Period (royal nobility) as my theme, I drew “One Hundred Poems” on the walls of the room as if it were a folding screen.
On the ceiling which I painted black, I drew a meteor shower with “hiragana”, and expressed the natural scenery of snow-covered mountains and rain by some of the songs in the “Hundred Poems”.
I hope that, while experiencing the graceful white and lines of “hiragana”, you will enjoy the serenity of this calm space.

Masako Inkyo

“Infinite Time and Space Amid Cognizant Japanese Beauty”

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