Matsumoto Sachiko: Bringing Japanese Crafts to the World
by Elle Murrell
“The only thing I took to Canada from Japan was pottery. I still remember holding that cup in both hands and experiencing a profound sense of comfort,” she recalls. “My roommate pointed out that I looked quintessentially Japanese, cradling the cup as I drank American coffee out of it, tea ceremony style!” she jokes, recalling how she felt instinctively relaxed, not by the cultural gesture, but from connecting with a beautiful, every-day object linked to nature.
Years later, a book by the philosopher and writer Soetsu Yanagi evoked the same feeling. “Yanagi was saying that a potter faces a spirit in the natural material and tries to make a complete form, but in the end he just lets the fire god of the kiln apply the final touches, and accepts the result. I found this notion really interesting, and I realised that there are so many small aspects of Japanese crafts that deserve to be shared internationally.”