"Recognizing some kind of beauty goes beyond all borders," Kyoko Mimura said.

She speaks from her own experience of dealing with borders and recognizing beauty beyond them. She gives credit to Soetsu Yanagi, born at the end of the 19th century, for ideas that she learned from his aesthetics, thoughts, and activities.

He was, she said, the initiator of not only the mingei, folk crafts, movement in Japan but also of the philosophy behind it. In the mid-1930s he founded the Japan Mingeikan, of which Mimura is now adviser for international programs.