Kintsugi: You are beautiful in your imperfection.

Have you heard of the Japanese philosophy of Kintsugi?

Kintsugi (Japanese: golden joinery), also known as kintsukuroi, (Japanese: golden repair), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum.

As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. It allows for the beauty of the brokenness to not only shine through the cracks, but to become a new part of the object’s aesthetic.

As a philosophy, kintsugi can be seen to have similarities to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect.

Japanese aesthetics values marks of wear by the use of an object. This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken and as a justification of kintsugi itself, highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage.

Christy Bartlett explains it so beautifully in the book, Flickwerk The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics:

‘Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated—a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin. Mushin is often literally translated as “no mind,” but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as, mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identification with, [things] outside oneself.’

Consider that you are more beautiful now for having been broken.

Live your life wide open. Show the world your scars. When we are able to show each other the places where we were broken, we give each other permission to be vulnerable with each other. This allows a softness to enter our lives, and our interactions with each other. We become a soft, gentle, more accepting place where others can sit and know they are accepted as they are.

Know that you are perfect in your imperfection.

With much love,


To add to my words, may I encourage you to sit somewhere quiet and listen to this song by Peter Mayer, Japanese Bowl.

{Source: Accessed 7 October 2020.}

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