Yanagi explains the concept of mingei in his seminal work, The Unknown Craftsman:
It is my belief that while the high level of culture of any country can be found in its fine arts, it is also vital that we should be able to examine and enjoy the proofs of the culture of the great mass of the people, which we call folk art. The former are made by a few for the few, but the latter, made by the many for many, are a truer test. The quality of the life of the people of that country as a whole can best be judged by the folkcrafts.
The Unknown Craftsman - A Japanese Insight into Beauty, Sōetsu Yanagi, Kodansha International, New York, 1989
This is sort of a reaction to a post Ron had today on his blog. I just don't know about all this pottery snobbery. I love raku, I love cookie cutter ornaments, I love apple bakers, I love the old time blue Seagrove pottery. I even like those chicken bakers where you put a can of beer up a chicken's butt. I also love shino, and crusty wood fired tea bowls, and crawly glazes. I love it because it's CLAY and someone lovingly made it! Let's all make some ornaments, people got trees to decorate :)