Upcoming Events




Japanese Folk Art

March 8 ~ June 28

9:00 am ~ 6:00 pm (Mon. - Sat.)


Shumei Hall Gallery (MAP)

In the early decades of the 20th century, as Japan Westernized and modernized, many Japanese and international cultural leaders realized the importance of preserving Japan’s artistic heritage and launched the Japanese folk craft movement (Japanese: mingei undo). The term “mingei” was coined as a translation of “folk art ” or “art of the people,” and came to encompass all the country’s traditional arts and crafts threatened by modernization.

Led by the philosopher Yanagi Soetsu (1889¬–1961), adherents of mingei researched and documented the country’s artistic traditions, encouraged collectors to support traditional crafts, and established a museum in Tokyo to showcase and revitalize Japan’s ceramics, bamboo art, textiles, and other crafts. Mingei objects (Japanese: mingei-hin) were defined as being produced for daily use by unknown craftsmen, who passed styles and techniques down from generation to generation. The works typically possess a local flavor – such as Otsu-e (“pictures from the town of Otsu, near Kyoto), Onta pottery from Kyushu and bobble-headed, papier maché cows from Fukushima.

The objects displayed here represent the diversity of Japanese mingei and are created from a wide range of materials for many purposes. Often humble and relatively inexpensive to purchase, these mingei-hin are infused with what Yanagi described as “beauty in the ordinary.”


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Other Information about the Shumei Arts Council


Contact Information to Shumei Arts Council

Mailing address: 2430 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91107

Tel: 626 584 8841

E-mail: jane@shumeiarts.org