Mingei Movement-Folk Craft: Embracing the Beauty of Everyday Art

Mingei Movement-Folk Craft: Embracing the Beauty of Everyday Art

In the bustling world of art and craftsmanship, the Mingei (Folk Craft) Movement stands as a remarkable cultural phenomenon that celebrates the beauty found in the simplest of everyday objects

Who Founded the Mingei Movement ?

The Mingei (Folk Craft) Movement was founded by philosopher Yanagi Soetsu, along with the collaboration of two prominent artists and craftsmen: Hamada Shoji and Kawai Kanjiro. 

These three individuals played crucial roles in shaping and promoting the principles of the Mingei Movement. Let's take a closer look at each of these main artists:

Who are the main artists in Mingei Movement?

Who are the main artists in Mingei Movement?

Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961):

Yanagi Soetsu was a Japanese philosopher, art historian, and social critic.

He was the visionary behind the Mingei Movement, advocating for the appreciation of traditional crafts and the beauty found in everyday objects.

Yanagi Soetsu emphasized the idea that folk crafts embody a sense of universality, authenticity, and timelessness.

Hamada Shoji (1894-1978):

Hamada Shoji was a renowned Japanese potter and close collaborator of Yanagi Soetsu.

He was an influential figure in the Mingei Movement, creating functional yet artistic pottery that embodied the movement's principles.

Hamada's work was deeply rooted in the traditional Mingei aesthetics, with an emphasis on organic forms and simple glazes.

Kawai Kanjiro (1890-1966):

Kawai Kanjiro was another influential Japanese potter associated with the Mingei Movement.

He was recognized for his mastery of traditional pottery techniques and unique glazing methods.

Kawai Kanjiro's works embraced the spirit of Mingei, emphasizing the beauty of imperfections and the harmony between form and function.

These three main artists, along with other like-minded individuals, contributed to the development and spread of the Mingei Movement's principles, leaving a lasting impact on the appreciation of folk crafts and traditional craftsmanship not only in Japan but also worldwide.

Embracing the Aesthetics of Simplicity

Embracing the Aesthetics of Simplicity

At the heart of the Mingei philosophy lies an appreciation for simplicity, authenticity, and functionality.

It embraces the notion that beauty can be found in the unassuming objects that adorn our daily lives, from handcrafted ceramics to woven textiles and wooden utensils.

Impact on Japanese Craftsmanship

Impact on Japanese Craftsmanship

The Mingei Movement breathed new life into traditional crafts that were at risk of fading into obscurity.

By recognizing the artistic merits of these crafts, it encouraged artisans to preserve and pass down time-honored techniques, safeguarding Japan's cultural heritage for future generations.

Global Influence and Legacy

Global Influence and Legacy

The influence of the Mingei Movement extended far beyond Japan's shores. Its principles of authenticity and respect for tradition inspired similar movements worldwide, sparking a renewed interest in folk crafts and traditional craftsmanship.

Preserving the Essence of Mingei Today

Preserving the Essence of Mingei Today

In the contemporary world, the Mingei Movement continues to resonate with artists, designers, and appreciators of crafts.

As we honor its legacy, we embrace the artistry of the simple and celebrate the beauty inherent in the everyday objects that enrich our lives.


The Mingei (Folk Craft) Movement remains a profound testament to the enduring allure of traditional craftsmanship and the appreciation of the beauty found in simplicity.

By recognizing the artistry in everyday objects, the movement revitalized Japanese folk crafts and left an indelible legacy that continues to inspire global appreciation for the authentic and the timeless.

As we embrace the essence of Mingei in our lives, we pay homage to the spirit of the movement and ensure the preservation of cultural heritage for generations to come.

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