Cracking The Art Of Kintsugi

In her book Kintsugi Wellness, Candice Kumai reminds us that when we are broken, we can actually be more beautiful.

Kintsugi is the Japanese art or repair related to ceramics and it is also a really useful metaphor for how to handle the broken bits of ourselves and improve our sense of self and wellbeing.

What does it mean?

‘Kin’ – gold/golden

‘tsugi’ – joinery

Kintsugi – join with gold or golden joinery

In Zen aesthetics, the broken pieces of a smashed pot should be carefully picked up, pieced together and  glued together with lacquer inflected with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.

Kintsugi then is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold, like this bowl:

The Japanese art of nourishing mind, body, and spirit celebrates the fault lines.

It embraces the flaws and imperfections and makes a stronger object by revitalising it with a new look and giving it a second life.    

This unique method celebrates each object’s unique history by drawing attention to its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them.

If we break a bowl or vase we probably don’t think twice about throwing it away but the Japanese art of Kintsugi wouldn’t dream of that. The idea is to take those broken pieces and reconstruct them into a new beauty.

When something is dropped then every break is unique and can be put back together.

There is a parallel here for us as broken people.

When we experience a mental breakage then as part of the healing process we can put ourselves back together and become something more unique, beautiful and resilient.

Kintsugi reveals how to heal and shows you that you are better with your golden cracks and it is the ultimate repair shop philosophy.

As psychologist Tomás Navarro says in his book, ‘Kintsugi: Embrace your imperfections and find happiness – the Japanese way‘, we shouldn’t conceal our repairs, they are proof of our strength.

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