Beauty of handiwork transcending time and place ”Matsumoto Mingeikan”

Beauty of handiwork transcending time and place
”Matsumoto Mingeikan”

Arts and crafts from around the world

Located in the countryside, Matsumoto Folk Crafts Museum is a traditional Japanese style building. Lush gardens spread as you pass through the gate. It was founded in 1962 by Taro Maruyama, who ran a craft shop. He was struck by Muneyoshi Yanagi, the father of the folk art movement, and began collecting artwork.
On permanent exhibition, 800 items from his huge collection, from various parts of Japan and all over the world, are displayed. ”One tends to have an image of folk art museums as displaying old art, but here, art from all over the world, old and new, are displayed. That is one of our distinct features.” explains Masayuki Kubota, director of Matsumoto City Museum.

Simple but unique, light and thin tea bowls

The concept of making tableware is ”something that suits the table of all generations”. Also, heavy tableware is not suitable for everyday use, and should be light and thin. ”Simple and beautiful. Never seen anything like this” praised Nakata. Lacquer bowls must be handled with care, but unlike ceramic bowls, they do not produce the annoying clicking sound when bowls hit against each other. If you sprinkle tin on the lacquerware, the bowl will make a metallic clank. It is interesting that each bowl has distinct ”sound” depending on its material.

Eggshell artwork by Maruyama

Among the collection, there are some pieces by Taro Maruyama. Nakata is also very fond of this ”rankaku”(eggshell) artwork. ”Rankaku” is a technique of pasting finely ground eggshells to create a design. Eggs and tools used at the time were also displayed. The resting area in the museum is surrounded by pictures and folk art from around the world, and visitors can enjoy a luxurious break. The combination of the garden, the building, and folk art created a mysterious harmony, something apart from the real world.


Matsumoto City Museum
1313-1 Satoyamabe, Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture