S I M P L I C I T Y A N D B E AU T Y: T H E I N F L U E N C E O F KO R E A N A E S T H E T I C S O N J A PA N ‘ S FOLK CRAFT MOVEMENT – TAASA Review September 2016


This article was originally found in the September 2016 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 25, Issue 3, Page 4).

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Penny Bailey No art has ever opened my heart to the extent of Korean art…When I think about it, the impetus for the great love I feel for Korea and its people is derived from their art.

Yanagi Setsu (Letter to My Korean Friends 1920:42) A rt critic and philosopher Yanagi Setsu (1889­1961) established Japan’s Folk Craft Movement in the mid-1920s with the support of his close friends, potters Hamada Shji (1894­ 1978), Kawai Kanjir (1890­1966), Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886­1963) and Bernard Leach (1887­1979).

To describe the genre of objects central to the movement, Yanagi, Hamada, and Kawai coined the term mingei (folk craft), a contraction of minshteki kgei meaning crafts of the people'...