Sori Yanagi was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1915. His father, Soetsu Yanagi started “Mingei (Japanese folk art)” promotion, which valued hand-crafted art of ordinary people and discovered beauty in everyday ordinary objects. Soetsu also helped to establish the Nihon Mingeikan, the Folk Crafts Museum of Japan.
Sori entered Tokyo Art School in 1934, where he studied both art and architecture. He was impressed by Le Corbusier as well as by Charlotte Perriand when she worked in Japan in the early 1940s, and he got more interested in “design and objects” rather than paintings and buildings.
After World War II, Sori designed many kinds of products such as furniture, three-wheeled vehicle, Olympic cauldron, and pedestrian overpass. The water kettle was one of his most famous designs, which included the Butterfly chair in 1954 as well as his porcelain and silverware series.
Nihon Yoshokki Co Ltd was founded in 1955 in Tsubame City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, which is the center of cutlery and steel manufacturing. It manufactures most of the Sori Yanagi-designed kitchenware and tableware.