In Pursuit of Composite Beauty

Yanagi Soetsu, His Aesthetics and Aspiration for Peace

By Mari Nakami

In Pursuit of Composite Beauty is a study of the life and thought of Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961), known primarily as the founder of Japan's mingei (folk crafts) movement. Mr. Yanagi was a thinker who believed that world peace could not be achieved by 'painting the world in one single color.' Before and during World War II, when Japan was invading Asia and enforcing its cultural assimilation policy in its colonies and occupied territories, Yanagi aspired to realize a world in which multiple races and cultures could coexist. His pacifist thought rests on the idea of 'composite beauty,' an ideal of creating a world in which heterogeneous entities can accept their differences and learn from each other. Tracing Yanagi's intellectual development, this insightful and comprehensive book presents a positive reevaluation of the contemporary significance of his thought from the viewpoint of international relations, shedding light on the ways to achieve interdependence and mutual respect.

456 pages

Publication Date: 4/23/2011
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781920901349