Is it broken?
Is broken beautiful?
The story goes as,
A Long time ago in the Muromachi period of Japan. Ashikaga Yoshimitsu a shogun of Japan; broke a bowl he got from China. Being immensely in love with the bowl he sent it for repair to the country. But was horrified to look at the condition in which the bowl came back. It was put together with metal clamps, giving it a hideous look. Still not ready to give up on the bowl. He gave it to the artisans of Japan to find a better way to join the broken pieces. He wanted to keep its aesthetics alive. And as the artisans succeeded in doing their work right, the concept of kintsugi was born.
Kintsugi- The art of repairing with gold.
Kin = golden
Tsugi = joinery
Thus, the art of repairing broken ceramics with gold was born. And if we as human beings tend to look at it closely, we also see that it’s a metaphor for life. About finding beauty in the old rustic or the slightly torn. Maybe those flaws are no longer flaws if they grew up to be filled in gold. Will it be right to say that it is about creating something more beautiful than was initially lost?
It may mean different things to different people
- For some, it may mean repairing the damage.
- Or Understanding the non-permanent state of this world.
- For some it is minimalism.
- For a few it may mean, a pause.
- Or just embracing the flaws.
It can also mean a personal touch
Everything has a story and every story gives meaning to that thing at a deeper level. Maybe you don’t want to discard that torn dress because your mother gifted it to you. Yes, it has a story and a very beautiful one. It can’t be just discarded by the imperfections on the surface. So, the philosophy emphasises on preserving the story rather than erasing it.
Embrace what comes with the imperfect
It may also mean that the imperfect is better. Just like ageing in beautiful. Yes, a person is growing old but they are also growing wiser.
There is a certain beauty in the face that is wrinkled and eyes that have seen it all. So many things come with the imperfect. The book you just read has folded pages in it. But those folded pages mean you are a book wiser now.
Repair requires transformation
One more thing to see here is that everything looks different after repair because every repair is unique it will be as per the cracks on that ceramic. Similarly, when humans repair their damages, each human will have to fill in their own cracks. And every crack will be different. The gold one pours in can take any direction depending upon the direction of the crack. Yes, we all heal differently because we all were broken different.
It’s still not easy to sum up this concept. Maybe, nothing is actually ever broken, or we can say everything is destined to be broken. It’s just about what you choose to fix those cracks with.
And you can always choose to fill those cracks with gold!