Mihoko Okamura’s extraordinary career is not well known outside Japan. Born in America, she met Buddhist scholar D.T. (Daisetsu) Suzuki in New York as a young teenager. She accompanied Suzuki on his lecture tours around the world and remained as his personal secretary until his death in 1966. During this period she came to know all of the founding members of the Mingei Movement.
In 1970 Bernard Leach requested her assistance in translation and editing of the writings of Soetsu Yanagi on Buddhist aesthetic philosophy for the book that was to become “The Unknown Craftsman”.
Producer Marty Gross conducted this extended interview with Mihoko Okamura at the Kanjiro Kawai Memorial Museum in Kyoto. It is the first major interview Mihoko Okamura has granted in English.