Sori Yanagi

December 26th, 2011

I have heard some very unfortunate news… Sori Yanagi passed away on Christmas Day, at the age of 96.

While we were in Japan over the summer we were lucky enough to catch an exhibition of Sori Yanagi’s work at the Ginza department store. Of course Yanagi will be remembered by his famous butterfly and elephant stool, along with his stainless steel kettle and mixing bowls. But going to this exhibition we caught a glimpse of the scale of Yanagi’s work: from ice cream scoops, to tape dispensers and scales, children’s toys, bathroom sinks, and even cars. The fascinating thing about the kitchenware we saw is that they are all unmarked ubiquitous items that are still used in many Japanese kitchens without knowing who designed it, but more importantly that it works well.

A very small example of Sori Yanagi’s legacy.

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