The “Nihon mingei kan” or the Folk Crafts Museum was founded by the leading Folk Crafts’ activist Muneyoshi Yanagi in 1936. “Mingei” literally means Folk Arts in Japanese.
The museum was established by Yanagi in order to collect and preserve beautifully crafted objects by unknown artists or talented folk craft from all over Japan. The museum was quite unusual at the time of its founding as most collectors were mainly focused on crafts relating to tea ceremony whereas Yanagi had insisted on collecting everyday utensils that possessed some artistic value. Yanagi was succeeded by Shōji Hamada, a famous potter. The majority of his works are exhibited in the museum.
The museum’s impressive main building, which survived World War II, demonstrates the sturdy style of traditional storage houses. It is also one of the very few remaining museums that were founded before the War. The museum is open from 10 a.m. ~ 5 p.m. The entrance fee is 1,000yen per person.