Kintsugi or kintsukuroi is a Japanese art form that dates back to 400 years. It is a method of repairing pottery where the cracks are emphasized rather than hidden. The art began in the 15th century when the treasured tea bowl of a shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, accidentally broke. Because it was his favorite bowl, he quickly sent it for repairs to China. Unfortunately, he was not happy with the outcome as the bowl was repaired by stapling the pieces together with metal pins. Because it looked unattractive, some of the local craftsmen decided to use gold lacquer, filling in the cracks and coming up with a beautiful and more valuable piece of art. Once again, the bowl was restored to its former position as the shogun’s favorite, and soon after was considered a unique art form.
Apart from kintsugi being a unique art form where beauty is created from broken pieces, it teaches us a few essential lessons in life, lessons that we can all benefit from and enhance our life with.
Nothing in your life is broken forever
Kintsugi teaches that in life, the things that we break are never really lost. When people believe that everything in life must be perfect, they can end up disappointed. Almost anything can break, whether it is a relationship with another or a treasured object. Still, this art form teaches that whatever is damaged in life can always be fixed, if you are determined to repair it.
You are beautiful, flaws and all
Another valuable lesson taught by kintsugi is that we are all beautiful despite our flaws. Whatever experiences we go through in life that may hurt or break us does not permanently damage the beauty that is within us. We can always use these experiences to teach us lessons and build our character. We become better after all that we go through. The battle scars we carry are things we can be proud of because it shows we are resilient and have survived the challenges life throws at us.
You can always get up after a fall
No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes along the way. There may be decisions you make in your life that can make you end up on the losing end. What kintsugi teaches is like the broken bowl, you can patch yourself up and emerge stronger and more beautiful than you ever were. It all depends on how committed you are to better yourself and learn from the mistakes that hurt you. You need not dwell on things that harmed you in the past but rebuild your life and make it as meaningful as you can.
Like other art forms, kintsugi has a calming effect and creates a feeling of peace inside you. More than that, the art of kintsugi shows us that there can be beauty in something that is damaged. It teaches patience as you painstakingly take those broken pieces and patch them together. Life may not be perfect, but it is up to us to make the most out of what we have and discover beauty in everything around us.
1st and featured image from https://pixabay.com/photos/vase-bowl-kintsugi-art-resilience-5557369/
2nd image from https://www.domestika.org/en/courses/1578-introduction-to-kintsugi-repair-your-pottery-with-gold