Beautiful Tools For Everyday Living

CRAFT: Beautiful Tools for Everyday Living

Japan is famous for finding beauty in everyday design. In Tokyo, the Japan Folk Crafts Museum (Nihon Mingeikan) invites visitors to explore the roots of Japan’s utilitarian design through the hand-crafted art of ordinary people.

Established in 1936 by Yanagi Soetsu, the founder of the mingei movement, the museum celebrates the charm in handmade, functional objects. Challenging the definition of what art should be, an extensive collection of folk crafts from across Japan finds beauty and significance in tools for everyday living – from ceramic cups to iron teapots, woven bamboo baskets and textiles dyed by hand. Yanagi Soetsu believed in honouring objects “made by the many, for many”, a mission upheld by renowned product designer Naoto Fukasawa, who directs the museum today.

To learn more about the mingei movement, pick up a copy of Yanagi’s book The Unknown Craftsman – and if you find yourself in Tokyo, visit the Japan Folk Crafts Museum in Meguro: 4 Chome-3-33 Komaba, Meguro City, Tokyo.

Images: Alex Rebbeck

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