Richard wrote an article that is in the latest Surfer’s Journaltitled, “Unknown Craftsmen.” The real “Unknown Craftsmen” book, however, is by Sōetsu Yanagi. In the book, Yanagi defines an aesthetic for what he felt was the highest level of art–which are objects that are ‘useful’ and made by craftsmen–think handmade pottery, bowls, swords, etc. Yanagi defined objects of this highest aesthetic having “mingei” characteristics. Naturally, Richard read the “Unknown Craftsmen” and understood how surfboards can also fall under this aesthetic.
For further clarification, Yanagi felt mingei “art” was above art for art’s sake, such as drawings/paintings/sculptures, etc. His reasoning is that handcrafted objects are higher forms of “art” because they are useful/have a purpose.
–posted by MB