What is Kintsugi? Embracing Beauty in Brokeness

What is Kintsugi? Embracing Beauty in Brokeness

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, we often discard what is broken, opting for the allure of the new. But there's a traditional Japanese art form that urges us to pause, appreciate, and even celebrate imperfections: Kintsugi.

What is Kintsugi?

Kintsugi, directly translating to "golden joinery," is the centuries-old Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.

Instead of concealing the cracks and breaks, Kintsugi emphasizes them, turning what might be seen as a flaw into a statement of beauty.

What is kintsugi

Origins of Kintsugi

Legend has it that Kintsugi began in the 15th century when a Japanese shogun named Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke his favorite tea bowl and sent it to China for repairs.

When it came back fixed with unattractive metal staples, he urged Japanese craftsmen to find a more aesthetically pleasing solution. The result? A method that not only repaired the pottery but also enhanced its beauty and value.

The Philosophical Undertones

Kintsugi is more than just a repair technique; it embodies a profound philosophy.

  • Embracing Imperfection: By accentuating cracks with gold or silver, Kintsugi tells us that there's beauty in flaws. It's a reminder that perfection isn't always the epitome of beauty.

  • Resilience and Transformation: The process symbolizes resilience. A broken object, once seen as damaged, undergoes a transformation to become even more beautiful and robust.

  • Wabi Sabi and Kintsugi: Wabi Sabi, another Japanese concept, reveres the beauty in imperfection and transience. Kintsugi aligns seamlessly with this philosophy, echoing the appreciation for the stories that wear and tear tell.

kintsugi plates

Kintsugi in Modern Times

Today, Kintsugi has expanded beyond just pottery repair. Modern artists and designers draw inspiration from this technique, incorporating it into various forms, including paintings, digital art, and even interior design.

The golden seams in Kintsugi have become symbolic representations of overcoming adversity and celebrating life's imperfections.

DIY Kintsugi: Repairing at Home

With the rising popularity of Kintsugi, many enthusiasts have started practicing this art at home.

While traditional Kintsugi involves specific materials and techniques, there are DIY kits available for those who want to experience the process without delving into the authentic, more complicated procedures.

What is kintsugi


Kintsugi is not merely about fixing things. It's about appreciating life's imperfections, valuing resilience, and recognizing that often, our scars—be they emotional or physical—make us more beautiful.

In a world that frequently seeks the pristine, Kintsugi reminds us of the allure of the perfectly imperfect. So, the next time something breaks, perhaps instead of discarding it, you might see it as an opportunity to create something even more special.

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