Trip to Japan

Filmed by Bernard Leach
1934, 1935

In 1934-35 Bernard Leach travelled throughout Japan with his close friend and colleague the Japanese philosopher Yanagi Soetsu. He had been given a 16mm camera by Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, the founders of Dartington Hall in Devon, England which he used to make these films.

In the post-war period Leach showed the films during his lectures around England, Scandinavia and the United States providing Western people with their first moving images of Japanese craftsmen. In 1974 Leach gave the films to Producer Marty Gross.

The films include rare and historic scenes of rural Japan and Korea, and show what he, Yanagi Soetsu and Hamada Shoji were actually seeing as they developed the ideas of Mingei.