Mingeikan Folk Crafts Museum
Simple, functional and anonymous. The aesthetic of the Japanese folk craft movement known as ‘mingei’ has formed the basis for generations of modern design. Opened by Soestu Yanagi in 1936 as a celebration of high quality craftsmanship in the face of a sweeping tide of industrialization, the Nihon Mingeikan museum possesses a vast collection of ‘mingei’ works.
From pottery, paintings and textiles to metal work, lacquerware and bamboo, the Mingeikan Collection consist of 17,000 artifacts, the majority from Japan but also from Asia, Europe and Africa. Alongside the permanent collection, there are four major exhibitions a year as well as talks and concerts.
Best of all is the setting: a beautiful traditional Japanese building, designed by Yanagi, complete with tiled roof and serene wooden interior on a quiet lane. The home in which he lived with his family for three decades is also just across the street and open to the public several days a month.