The Park Hotel Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan), in December 2012, started the “Artist in Hotel” project where an artist decorates an entire guestroom. The project is still in progress. By 2016, all the guestrooms on the 31st floor will be so decorated, and the “Artist Room Samurai”, the 25th in the series, has now been completed.
At the Park Hotel Tokyo, in our efforts to enhance the satisfaction of our overseas guests whose numbers are increasing, we are creating a space on the theme of Japanese beauty. As part of this effort, the 25th room Artist Room on the theme of “Samurai“, which was started by artist Kenyu Mitsuhashi on July 1, 2016, continued the work for about a month while staying at the hotel and commuting to and from it, and completed it on August 1, 2016.
“By using Kamakura-bori (Kamakura carving), which the technique had been passed down from the age of the samurai, my aim was for the guests to think about the samurai, as well as Japanese aesthetics”, says artist Kenyu Mitsuhashi. The Artist Room Samurai was created with the desire to communicate this traditional skill to the world in a form that lives in the present. The Kamakura-bori, which has a history of 800 years, originated in Kamakura, a city deeply connected with the samurai. The entire room is decorated with Kamakura-bori, which utilizes uniquely Japanese traditional techniques for carving wood and applying layers of lacquer. This is the first of the artist rooms to be decorated using one of Japan’s beautiful traditional crafts.
Decorated on left and right sides of the wall above the bed are Kamakura-bori in the form of samurai. They consist of 32 parts, rather like a wooden mosaic. These are delicate sculptures featuring the beautiful gloss that results from carefully applied layers of lacquer. In between is a katana (sword) which is the work by Kenrei Mitsuhashi, Kenyu’s mentor. This katana expresses the spirit, technique, and physique of the samurai, which were passed down from master to disciple. Meanwhile, the tradition of the Kamakura-bori technique allows for an appreciation of Japan’s aesthetic sensibility. The wall on the opposite side is decorated with Kamakura-bori of kabutos (helmet) worn by actual famous samurai from the past (*). Painted in between kabutos is a circle, by the names of a famous katanas. A hanging scroll depicting a lion, in the position to carefully protect the whole room, and the Chinese phoenix pattern on the jin-baori (tabard), is painted reconstructing the design techniques of Kamakura-bori. The painting near the door depicts a jin-baori with a Mt. Fuji pattern (**).
At the Artist Room Samurai, guests staying will become samurai, experiencing the private space the samurai, beyond time and space.
[ Artist Room Samurai Outline ]
Opening: August 22, 2016 (online and phone reservations accepted)
Room: Artist Room Queen (double occupancy), 22square meters
Bed size:1,600 × 1,950 mm
Rate: 40,000 yen per night for two persons (including taxes and service charge)
Reservation and inquiry: +81 (0)3-6252-1100
Producer: creative unit moon
【 Artist’s Profile 】
Kenyu Mitsuhashi (real name: Hajime Mitsuhashi)
Born 1980 in Kamakura, as a descendant of Busshi (a sculptor of Buddhist images), a lineage which continues from the Kamakura Period.
From 2000, studied under his father, Kenrei Mitsuhashi. To hone the self-discipline and acquire the original intent of a Busshi, studied Zen at Kenchoji Temple, and in 2010, was bestowed the title “Kenyu” by the virtuous master Yoshida of Kenchoji Temple.
Reproduces “Kamakura-bori in the form of tea utensils” created by ancestors, and also makes utensils for heads of tea ceremony schools such as Omotesenke.
At the same time, introduces modern works of art centered around Buddhist artifacts and tea utensils to people all over the world.
2000 Studied under his father, Kenrei Mitsuhashi
2010 Bestowed the title of “Kenyu” by the virtuous master Masamichi Yoshida,
head of Kenchoji Temple.
2011 Organized the young artists’ group “Project IKI”
2012 Granted as craftsman by the head of Omotesenke,
started creating utensils for him
2013 Organized an “ART Tea Party” at the Park Hotel Tokyo
(official collaboration with the Toei movie “Ask This of Rikyu”)
2014 Organized the artists’ space “Art Library IKI” at the Park Hotel Tokyo
2015 Produced an incense burner at Kenchoji Temple
* The red kabuto belonged to Yukimura Sanada, and the black kabuto to Ranmaru Mori.
** The jin-baori with Mt. Fuji pattern belonged to Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
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