Sori Yanagi was a Japanese product designer. He played a role in Japanese modern design developed 1940s to the high-growth period in the Japanese economy. He is both a representative of the wholly Japanese modern designer and a full-blown modernist who merged simplicity and practicality with elements of traditional Japanese crafts.
Nambu ironware is said to have started around the middle of the 17th century, when the Nambu family, who were ruling the current northern part of Iwate prefecture, built Morioka castle and invited imoji and kamashi artisans from places such as Kyoto to have them make Buddhist altar articles, armor, and tea ceremony kettles as part of their plan to revitalize the city and promote cultural activities. With the rich natural resources of the land and the support of the domain leaders, Nambu ironware soon became the local specialty of the area. It came to be cherished as a gift to feudal lords.