Whether in our bodies or souls, wounds remind us of the pain we went through. Instead of hiding them, the Japanese Kintsugi philosophy teaches how to highlight those creaks that make us unique and irreplaceable, as well as resilient in life.
Born as an art aimed at repairing pottery, it now has various applications.
Meaning literally “to repair gold”, Kintsugi represents the Japanese art of fixing and enhancing what is broken instead of throwing it away. This philosophy does not involve just objects, but also people, when they feel somehow “in pieces”.
As a long process demanding consistency, it can be considered as a real form of therapy.
Keep reading to find out more about Kintsugi, how it works, and how it can help us live better lives.
The concept is based on the Kintsugi art of repairing broken pottery vases by using liquid gold or silver, or powder lacquer. The term is actually composed of the two Japanese words “kin”, meaning “gold”, and “tsugi”, meaning “to reunite, to reconnect”.
This artistic technique was invented by Japanese potters in 1400, under the shogunate of commander, or rather, “shogun” Yoshimasa, who asked them to fix the cups he used for the rite of tea. The potters employed the only suitable material they had available, a golden lacquer called “urushi”.
The art of Kintsugi is a metaphor for life. The meaning of this philosophy is that wounds should be valued as strengths. It is based on the zen concept of resilience, namely the ability to always rise after falls and keep on living life despite any obstacles.
To serenely accept that life is ephemeral, so it is important to let go and turn our minds away from the research of perfection, as it does not exist. On the contrary, it is in failure and imperfection that we can find beauty, just as golden urushi embellishes these broken vases.