One who starts to accept and glorify vulnerability, no longer feels broken. All it takes is a step towards self with the message of the Japanese technique of Kintsugi, the art of broken beauty.

Art is a path to bring out a person’s feelings, thoughts, and experience. Whether it is painting or writing or any form, creativity pierces through the darkness of mind making it prevalent and luminous. It being an immense power helps humans from all ages to endure. Five years old or fifty-five years old, it never fails to pave the way for ideas.

Every art form is unique in its kind yet there is one that stands out in the list because of being honest and unambiguous. Kintsugi (golden joinery) or Kintsukoroi (golden repair) is the mending of broken pottery with the use of special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. This may be in practice since the fifteenth century when the eighth shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, had sent to China his broken tea bowl for repairs. However, when the bowl was brought back from China, it did not appease the owner. It was joined with ugly metal ligatures. Giving the Japanese craftsmen the chance, it turned out to be great as the tea bowl became more aesthetic than before with the use of the lacquer.

Kintsugi: the art of precious scars | LifeGate
credits: LifeGate

In philosophical terms; kintsugi has resemblance with wabisabi (an embracing of the flawed and imperfect). Instead of disguising the shattered parts, recognizing the history to repair the object into a new piece is done. This Japanese technique can also be applied to the concept of self, along with that of relationships. After losing someone close due to death, divorce, or breakup; a part of self becomes like a pot fell down from its original place on the verge of losing its identity. It stays there on the ground confused as to what to do next with the fragments it has turned into. Either it may be made into something else (most probably trash) or analysing the past of it to bring it exact what it have been with a touch of beauty. After all circumstances do not leave one broken eternally rather being not true to oneself and depending upon others for fixation do.

Kintsugi is a great metaphor too. When a mistake is made, one grows from its experience and takes lessons to be a better version. Scars from then can be a moment of deep pride for now. So, never underestimate these marks to not give something of value. These may be the reason for many innovations as one does not get ideas from just sitting around idle. Give a second chance of making relationship strong internally. Embracing what has gone eventually brings good tidings in life. Sufferings play a vital role in shaping one’s personality. There is so much one can learn, just take a step. What one is looking for externally, lies within or in the pages of history of one’s life may be.

Nabiha Fatima is a student pursuing B.Com. from Jamia Millia Islamia.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.


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