The Japanese designer Sori Yanagi finished art school in Tokyo in 1940. Then he was an assistant until 1942 in the Tokyo practice of Charlotte Perriand, who at that time was art and crafts adviser to the Japanese Board of Trade. In 1952 Sori Yanagi founded the Yanagi Industrial design Institute.
In 1954 Sori Yanagi designed the "Butterfly" stool, which consists of two molded plywood elements held together by a metal rod. The "Butterfly" owes its name to its graceful curvilinear form, which is also calligraphically reminiscent of a fleetingly jotted down Japanese script sign.
Sori Yanagi's designs harmoniously link Japanese sensitivity with modern materials and manufacturing methods applied in the West to realizing designer objects. That same year, 1954, Sori Yanagi created the "Elephant Stool", a simple but very handsome stool made of polyester resin reinforced with fiberglass. Originally made by the Japanese firm Mokko, the "Butterfly" stool is today produced by Vitra.
In 1977 Sori Yanagi became director of the Japanese Folk Art Museum in Tokyo. In 1982 Sori Yanagi showed work at the exhibition "Contemporary Vessels: How to Pour", which was mounted in Tokyo by the National Museum of Modern Art.