• Post
  • 15th Century Japanese Art

    The story of Kintsugi may have begun in the late 15th century, when the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl back to China to be fixed. It returned held together with ugly metal staples. Ashikaga thought this was unacceptable. He challenged his Japanese craftsmen to find a new form of repair that could make a broken piece look as good as new, or better. They pulled the staples and mended the bowl with gold. To his delight, the bowl looked better for having been broken. Kintsugi was born.

  • Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi

    The term "kintsugi" or "kintsukuroi" means ‘golden joinery’ in Japanese and refers to the art of fixing broken ceramics with a lacquer resin made to look like solid gold.

  • A Metaphor for Our Life

    When we view our lives as being of great worth, yet sometimes broken or even shattered, we begin to understand that no matter the trauma, despair, hurt, fear, abuse, failure, addiction, disease, and even death, our scars and wounds are just part of us. As we do, we also must look at those breaks as a place for beauty to transpire for the skilled hands of repair to fill with gold. Each time, we must see we are more beautiful for being broken.

BLOG: Finding Gold

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My Search for Inspiring Stories About People Finding Their Gold

February 9, 2014

As this is the first blog here, I feel compelled to at least describe what I’m trying to do: I want to inspire people to look for positive ways to mend themselves when they feel broken. I want to do my small part to keep them hopeful.

Kintsugi art and the story about Kintsugi are perfect examples of how something broken can become more beautiful if mended properly. This message resonates powerfully for me.

I found out about Kintsugi from a wonderful group on Facebook called Ultimate Love and Passion, managed in part by a good friend Julie Keywell. Julie has been a gift in my life and is a superconductor of positive energy. What caught my attention initially was a picture someone in the group posted of Kintsukuroi (another name for Kintsugi) with the description,“more beautiful for being broken.”

That, I said to myself, is how I want to live.

I want to take risks, fail, experience love and heartache, push myself beyond my physical limits, find ways to physically heal, look for people that want to help, and, offer to help others. It was a way of thinking I want my kids to adopt. I want them not to be afraid to experience life, and, when things become difficult, find their gold to mend themselves.

I was inspired to start this blog by one particular story I heard, also through a friend of Julie. It’s the story of a teenage boy named Cal from the Detroit area. Cal loved playing hockey but was tired all the time. At nine years old, he was diagnosed with a lung disease called pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension leads to heart failure. Doctors also found a hole in Cal’s heart. His mother Nahla was told there was no hope for recovery. Cal and his mother, were broken.

They prayed. They kept hope. They never gave up looking for their gold. And then, they found it. Nahla found stem cell therapy. Cal, scared but hopeful, immediately flew down to Florida to receive adult stem cell therapy treatment. In time, his lung pressure dropped enough for the doctors to close the hole in his heart. Six months after that, Cal was back in goal for his hockey team, better than ever.

Cal and Nahla found their gold with faith, hope and science.

By making these gifts available, I hope you will share your stories with me. Tell me about your gold. It’s there. I’m finding mine every day in my own personal experiences and in stories like Cal’s. One day, someone might find their gold in yours.

By Paul Pustelnik, Kintsugi Gifts Creator