Kawai Kanji Memorial Museum is a simple house where you can see the masterful works by Kawai Kanjiro
Kawai Kanjiro (1890-1966) was a potter active from the Taisho period to the Showa period. He was a central figure in the “Mingei” folk craft movement that saw beauty in the everyday, utilitarian objects. The present day Kawai Kanji Memorial museum was in his lifetime both his house and his workshop. The museum is in the Higashiyama Gojo area where the famous Kyoto pottery styles Kiyomizu-yaki and Kyo-yaki were born, but looking from the outside, you wouldn’t believe the house is a museum. It looks just like every other machiya town house. The atmosphere inside is cozy and you get to really feel that Kawai Kanjiro and his family actually lived here. At the two-story museum, you can see his works, his wood engravings, pottery, and furniture he designed, everywhere, but they are placed in the house like they were in everyday use; they are not labeled at all like in most museums.
You can also see the inner garden and the “noborigama” climbing kiln, so there is a lot to see at the museum, so much in fact that it seems that time slows more slowly at the museum. This museum is a very enjoyable experience even if you don’t have any prior knowledge of Kawai Kanjiro’s works.