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.
Kintsugi Gifts are crafted in the western suburbs of Chicago, but we work with customers from around the world. We welcome special orders and requests.