Kintsugi: Showcasing the real beauty in imperfections

An ideal and indeed art form that I am keen on within Japanese culture is Kintsugi.

If you are unaware, Kintsugi means “joining gold” and involves broken ceramics having a lacquer mixed with powdered gold running through the imperfections of the piece. That gold will then highlight whatever unique cracks exist throughout the design. Stylistically it looks fantastic, but it is more than just a physical art form, or a practical decorative piece.

This Japanese tradition serves to highlight imperfections, showcasing their beauty instead of hiding them. It is seen as a way of offering calmness if a cherished piece of ceramic is broken and serves as a reminder of the beauty in human fragility. It is a nudge for us to stay optimistic when things fall apart, and to celebrate flaws-these are what make us human after all-and to embrace mistakes.

Plus, from a thrifty perspective, which is of course so relevant in these times, a cracked ceramic doesn’t have to be binned, it doesn’t have to be replaced with something new. No, what you have already could be made into something beautiful.





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