Kanjiro Kawai's House
In Eastern Kyoto, on the otherside of this home’s weathered wooden doors — you’ll find the perfectly preserved home and workshop of prolific potter and advocate of the ‘Mingei Movement’, Kanjiro Kawai.
In Higashiyama, a neighborhood in Eastern Kyoto, you may find yourself in front of an unassuming and seemingly uniform Machiya-scape. However, on the other side of this specific home’s weathered wooden doors — you’ll find the perfectly preserved home and workshop of the prolific potter and advocate of the ‘Mingei Movement,’ Kanjiro Kawai.
Mingei celebrated the “unknown craftsman” and emphasised traditional folk crafts, cultures, and values.
In a two-story structure designed by the potter (/philosopher, writer, sculptor, and wood carver), the ubiquity of dark wood, which may otherwise feel cumbersome, is met with the golden glow of illuminated rice paper screens to create an airy space which opens up to the second story.
I ran my fingers across a hardwood chest assembled snugly using Japanese joinery. Noticed the interlocking Korean-inspired wooden floor. Observed everyday objects crafted from hundreds of years of material intelligence and thoughtfully (wood)carved, (ceramic) glazed pieces which felt as important as the considered empty space around them.