What is Kintsugi?

The Japanese art of “Kintsugi” (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”) repairs a piece of broken pottery or lacquerware by filling in the gaps with gold, silver, or plantinum-dusted lacquer.

As the video shows, the kintsugi process (also known as kintsukoroi 金繕い, “golden repair”) rejoins pottery pieces, filling gaps and flaws with gold. The repair is permanent and strong. Rather than diminish the pottery’s original beauty, the process creates a piece more beautiful than its previous form. The golden repair becomes part of the object’s history, increasing its value.

We also see the remarkable kintsugi process played out in human tragedy and trauma. Each of us has, or will, experience painful events in life. Horrifying experiences can break our spirit, our minds, and (directly or indirectly) our bodies. Handled well, our responses and healing act similarly. In this golden healing we find new experience and perspective as we are refitted in fresh, surprising ways. This golden repair spikes the pottery’s value; our own trauma and recovery raises the value of our insight and experiences. Once diminished and fragmented, we become beautifully strong in our struggle to heal and overcome what could have destroyed us. Others are then drawn to our beauty, and hope springs up in their hearts — they, too, can recover remarkably.

And this is our goal — to recover remarkably, and beautifully.