Sunday, 21 April 2013

Soyetsu Yanagi and Bernard Leach

When I was in Japan last year I became very aware of the importance of pottery in Japanese culture.  We visited the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum in Tokyo and saw wonderful examples of the potter's art.  Mummy loaned me this book when I got back from Japan, it includes an introduction by Soyetsu Yanagi.  He coined the term "mingei", declared the Folk Art Movement in 1926, and established the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum in 1936.
I was interested to read Yanagi's opinion of Bernard Leach and his work in relation to Japanese culture and so I have reproduced it here.
I have never been attracted to making pots although I have always admired craft pottery.  Both Mummy and DH studied pottery at college when they trained as teachers, maybe it's in my blood somewhere.  I like the Buddhist quatrain that Soyetsu Yanagi chooses to end his introduction, excellent for travellers.

A Potter's Book by Bernard Leach was published in 1940 by 
Faber and Faber Ltd  ISBN 0 571 09672 7


  1. Thanks Lis, I've read a few articles in the Kateigaho International Edition magazines highlighting Japanese Mingei pottery. I bet we hat that book here in my library. Go and check it out now - Thanks Lis, you are a walking wikipedia...

  2. It is also interesting the connection with Hamada in Mashiko. Bernard Leach made quite an impact during his life here.
    While I was the wife of a bank branch manager, I was in charge of entertaining the wives of the important people visiting the bank and several had good connections with the museums in NYC that came with introductions to famous potters and kilns around Japan. I was lucky to travel from kiln to kiln and talk with living national treasures in the field and hear of their passion for the art.


I really appreciate your lovely comments, ideas and opinions, they make my day. Thank you for visiting Piece'n'Peace,
hugs, Lis x