Kintsugi- The Art of Imperfection

The limited time I have had in Tokyo has made me yearn for more time to explore this amazing rich culture. I think that the shrines and sacred forests that exist in the midst of the hustle and bustle say a lot about the culture. One particular art form that has long held an appeal to me is the Kintsugi, literally meaning “joining with gold”.

This is a traditional Japanese art of repairing broken pottery using gold, resulting in a piece that, rather than hiding the damage, highlights the cracks and imperfections. This art form offers more than just an aesthetic, it is also a philosophy whereby the value of an object (or human) is not in its beauty, but in its ‘brokenness’. Imperfections are celebrated and the beauty of flaws embraced.

Based on the Japanese notion of wabi-sabi, Kintsugi reminds us that all things are impermanent, imperfect and incomplete. Like a piece of pottery, so too are out lives imbued with fragility, instability and setbacks. The bowl may well be broken, but it can be pieced together with even more beauty. Kintsugi essentially embraces our brokeness, allowing us to change adversity into something that is beautiful and resilient.

Kintsugi shows us that, in time, we can heal from our wounds, embrace our imperfections, and become stronger. And sometimes, in order to heal, you actually need to allow yourself to be broken.

So let’s embrace our flaws, our ‘brokenness’ and celebrate the fact that there is beauty in our imperfection and our incompleteness.

#kintsugi #wellbeing #enough

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway A Farewell to Arms, 1929