The name "Mingei" comes from the Japanese words min, meaning "all people," and gei, meaning "art." Thus the museum's name describes what's found under its roof: "art of all people." The Mingei's colorful and creative exhibits of folk art feature toys, pottery, textiles, costumes, jewelry, and curios from around the globe. Traveling and permanent exhibits in the high-ceilinged, light-filled museum include everything from a history of surfboard design and craft to the latest in Japanese ceramics. The gift shop carries items related to major exhibitions as well as artwork from various cultures worldwide, such as Zulu baskets, Turkish ceramics, and Mexican objects.