1915 Born in Tokyo as the first son of Soetsu Yanagi, the father of the Mingei (folk art) movement, and Kaneko Yanagi, a vocalist.
1940 Graduated from the Oil Painting Dept. at Tokyo Fine Arts Schoo.l (now Tokyo University of the Arts)
1941 Traveled throughout Japan as an assistant to Charlotte Perriand, who was invited by the Department of Commerce and Industry to study and instruct in folk art. This learning experience would become an inspiration for Yanagi’s future design method.
Around1946 Began research on industrial design.
1953 Established a foundation known as the Yanagi Design Office.
1977 Appointed as director of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum.
2002 Received the honor of “Person of Cultural Merit”.
2011 Passed away at the age of 96.
As a founder of the modern industrial design method after World War II, Yanagi created numerous industrial products that were valued as “tools for living,” including furniture. Moreover, he was a powerful advocate for design workshops. His design expertise also extended to automobiles, pedestrian overpasses and the platform for the Olympic flame used at the Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan. His “Butterfly Stool” is famous as the first piece of work for which a Japanese designer received global recognition.