MUJI’s brand philosophy is ‘No Brand (Mujirushi 無印 ) Quality Goods (ryohin 良品)’,
Even if world-famous product designers such as Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic, or Naoto Fukasawa designed MUJI’s products, they never divulge the name of the designer on the products, keeping the philosophy of the brand “Muji”.
The concept of “Mingei” (often translated as “folk art”) was developed in the mid-1920s by the Japanese philosopher Soetsu Yanagi.
He believed that beauty resides in practical handicrafts made for the common people not luxury goods.
It used to be thought that there was no beauty in the mundane things that were used every day by common people, but the movement of Yanagi and others brought the beauty of common things into the limelight. Now there are stores all over Japan that specialize in selling Mingei works and museums that exhibit only Mingei.
It is no surprise that Naoto Fukasawa, who was involved in many of MUJI’s product development projects was appointed as the director of Nihon Mingei Kan (The Japan Folk Crafts Museum) in Tokyo, the first and most respected of the many Mingei museums in Japan.
If you want to experience Mingei in Tokyo, I recommend the following trip.
First, visit the Nihon Mingei Kan (The Japan Folk Crafts Museum) in Tokyo, mentioned above. Next visit the excellent craft shop, Beniya Mingeiten, a 10-minute walk from the museum who have a great selection of Mingei products.
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