The literary translation of 'Kintsugi' is 'repairing with gold'.

It is a Japanese art that recovers broken objects, since according to their tradition, if an object is broken, it acquires more value.

Kintsugi consists in repairing shattered objects, such as bowls or vases, using important materials such as gold, liquid silver or gold powder lacquer. Important and precious materials are used to repair objects precisely because the object being broken, in this way acquires more value.

We, British culture, but also throughout Europe it is like this, we tend to throw away an object when it is broken, instead Eastern culture gives more value to broken objects trying to enhance them, honoring the history of that object.


Wikipedia literally translates the word Kintsugi as repairing with gold. It is a word that originated in Japan in the 15th century, Kin means gold and tsugi means repair.

Moving instead to a more metaphorical meaning, Kintsugi is based on the idea that from a fragment, a break, a scar, an aesthetic but also an interior refinement can be born.

It all started during the Muromachi period (1336-1573) in Japan. Legend has it that the Shogun (the highest title of the military), Ashikaga Yoshimasa, after breaking a cup of tea, commissioned craftsmen to repair it, so that it was re-usable. The artisans succeeded in their enterprise, using gold dust lacquer. The result was incredibly beautiful!


To bring a broken object back to life through the Kintsugi culture, there are various techniques:

-HIBI: or crack, where simple cracks are repaired.

-KAKE NO KINTSUGI REI: or 'example of golden repair of the missing piece', that is, the missing piece is made to measure, using precious materials such as gold or lacquer.

-YOBITSUGI: or invitation to repair, where a piece of another porcelain is used, very similar to that of the broken object.


For the Japanese, the art of Kintsugi not only has a material value, that is to repair broken objects to give them another life, but also a philosophical aspect resides in this art, both for the artisans who repair the broken object , both for those who commission the work. Repairing is a form of psychological therapy, as it is as if a negative event in our life (broken object) is transformed into something new, more beautiful. In fact, very often this art is compared to resilience, the ability to always get up after a fall.


There is a British sculptor, who lives and works in the county of Essex, eastern England, who is passionate about Japanese art Kintsugi, in fact in many of her works we find inspiration for this Japanese art. Her idea is similar to that of Japanese culture, in fact she herself says `` My work is about identity and the personal obsession to reveal what is hidden, to discover what is discarded and what is neglected, to repair broken ideas exploring duality ''.


Everything is up to us how to face the problems, whether to break down or whether to look for the positive side and ensure that a masterpiece can emerge from the small scars, with care and dedication.

In Japanese there is a word that is very suitable for this concept, which however does not have a very specific translation in English: 'shouganai'. It means accepting something that could not be avoided in any way. So, once again, accept the damage, try to solve it in the best possible way and welcome it as a life lesson that will make the scars even more valuable.