My dear Wright:
Do you remember that when I saw you last I asked you how you would like to design a new building for the Imperial Hotel at Tokyo? Well, I wrote a long letter to Mr. Hayashi urging him that you were the right man for him to select as his architect. Today I have a letter from him in reply and this is what he says: “Many thanks for your opinion of Mr. Wright. I shall write him shortly. If he would not be too radical and would work under reasonable terms he would be the first one.”
Letter from Gookin to Wright, October 16, 1911
In 1911, as Wright worked to rebuild his architecture practice in Chicago, his name was put forward as a potential designer for the new Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Wright’s longstanding interest in Japanese art and culture was instrumental in securing the commission. It was Wright’s acquaintance, and fellow collector of Japanese prints, Frederick Gookin, who recommended the architect to the hotel’s manager, Aisaku Hayashi.