Sori Yanagi was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1915. His father, Soetsu Yanagi started the ‘mingei’ (Japanese folk art) movement, which valued the 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 Charlotte Perriand when she worked in Japan in the early 1940s, and became more interested in ‘design and objects’ rather than paintings and buildings.
After World War II, Sori designed many products such as furniture, the three-wheeled vehicle, Olympic cauldron, and pedestrian overpass. The kettle was one of his most recognised and famous designs.