Around 1925, Soetsu Yanagi started the folk craft movement. Referred to as "mingei," the philosophy emphasized the recognition and appreciation of everday objects for their intrinsic beauty. Especially after WWII, the Japanese were surrounded by an increasingly mechanized society. In response, many Japanese became more interested in the quiet beauty of skilled handiwork found in the humble articles used in everday life
Folk art is the term we give to those objects made by anonymous craftsmen and women. These objects can be furniture, or ceramics, they can be tools, carvings, and textiles: what connects them is the context in which they were made, their place in everyday life. As the writer Octavio Paz said of a ceramic pitcher " its beauty is allied with the liquid it contains and the thirst it quenches.....a basket, a bowl- handsome objects not in spite of but because of their usefulness."