The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty
By Sōetsu Yanagi
I skimmed a couple chapters of this for a reading group a while back, and got my dad a copy, but haven’t read much of it yet.
It’s a collection of essays exploring craft and beauty, covering topics like technique, abstraction, emptiness, imperfection, ordinary objects, folk art, philosophy and spirituality.
Yanagi Sōetsu is a “philosopher and founder of the mingei (folk craft) movement in Japan in the late 1920s and 1930s.” This book brings his writings into English, through, not exactly a translation, but an “adaptation” by Yanagi’s friend, the potter Bernard Leach.
It includes seventy-six plates, illustrating “objects that underscore the universality of his concepts.”