1894 - 1978. Famous folk-art ceramist. He began a lifelong friendship with Kawai Kanjiro when the two met around 1912 as young students. Later on he befriended English potter Bernard Leach and philosopher Yanagi Soetsu; they started the folk art movement (Mingei movement) together. Hamada established his studio in Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture, and his mingei works have been held in the highest esteem in Japan as well as abroad. Hamada was designated a Living National Treasure in 1955. Second director of the Mingeikan Museum. MASHIKO. Name of a town outside of Tokyo that is famous as a folk-craft village, and was the home of Hamada Shoji.