Kintsukuroi is a concept very close to my heart. Like these pieces, my body bears the marks of having been broken and put back together again (multiple times). Oh, the stories a few inches of skin can tell!


I find these items breathtaking, and would very much like to create one or have one in my home. Upon reading about this technique and philosophy, I was reminded of a thrift store statue I purposely bought in a broken state (despite the urging of a well-meaning shop owner to opt for one in better condition); a angel holding a bird whose wing had broken off. Though no more than half an inch was missing, the entire meaning of the statue changed with that broken wing. The bird was not dallying for a moment in the midst of carefree flight as originally intended, it was being cradled, protected, healed by a benevolent protector.

As I continue to move through my (still unspeakably slow and challenging) physical recovery, I rejoice in the lines on my flesh that saved my life and the metaphorical gold within them. I am not broken…I am Kintsukuroi, right?

Take time to love the imperfect, the discarded, the reconstructed and overlooked treasures around you (or ON you!). As Leonard Cohen once sang “There’s a crack in everything…that’s how the light gets in.”


18 Responses to “Kintsukuroi”

  1. These items look to me as though the breaking of them has allowed the precious metal inside to shine through. What a lovely way to fix broken things to make them even better. And you are definitely kintsukuroi!

    For many many years, I’ve had irregularly shaped scars all around my body. Because they are so old, they’re slowly changing their shapes and disappearing, blending back to the normal colour of my skin. I tan very easily, and so the scars form fun pink and white patterns all over my skin in the summer! I even somewhat keep track of what some of the ones I can see myself look like: this summer I noticed the one that used to look like a miniature map of Africa has now become something else completely, I haven’t quite figured out yet what it is 🙂

    • shewalkssoftly Says:

      Oh wow! A map of Africa! That’s very neat. I wonder what it’s next manifestation is going to be as it changes. 🙂

  2. A lovely post. I’ve never heard of Kintsukuroi before, but it is a term worth remembering. Thank you.

  3. Very beautiful 🙂

  4. Those “imperfections” and repairs show a strength and versatility that makes all the difference. Maybe it is why I like old things better than the new. They persevere. They withstand and battle against what they are put through. True beauty is not perfect. What some see as flaws, I also see as badges and statements. They should all be worn with pride and honour.

    I love the way these are done with the gold. I would love to try this, too. Thank you for this post, Dana. xoxox

  5. Wow, I really like this pottery, it’s got such character. Incredibly touching post, too, Dana.
    Well Bettie pretty much nailed it I would say. As you know oh so well, Dana, I know exactly how you feel. Though my scars was emotionally traumatizing and devastating in every aspect of my life, I prefer who the monster turned me into too. I may look shiny and new now, but nothing’s really changed, not at all and I will never change, only for the better.
    I hardly throw away “ruined and cracked” possessions, in fact, I cherish them even more. I have statues that are broken ad glued and a coffee mug that’s chipped and crackled from decades of use, and it’s one of my favorite mugs. It’s also why I love antiquities, for its story of perseverance whilst the ravages of life and time. You are even more gorgeous with your scars, Dana, it literally shows how strong and amazing you are. Always remember “Imperfect” really means “I’m perfect.” 99

  6. Beautiful Dana! This is the first I’ve heard of it. My panda bear sugar bowl could’ve used a bit of this magic. 😉 ah well, thank goodness for super glue! He may be chipped and cracked now(I was having a clumsy morning), but I love him just the same. Great post Dana.

  7. What a wonderful, thought provoking post (and what lovely responses!). The idea of valuing wear and imperfection really appeals to me. Truly Zen 🙂 -Nx

    • shewalkssoftly Says:

      It’s a beautiful idea because it opens up a whole other side of life in which we can find joy and meaning. The world can seem so cold and unfair…I feel it’s up to us to celebrate whatever, wherever we can.

  8. johnkutensky Says:

    Have you ever read the Tsurezuregusa? If you like the concept of kintsukuroi, you might like it. It’s a collection of musings by the Japanese monk Kenko. You can read it here:

  9. This was very inspiring, thank you.

  10. find a roofer in your area

    Kintsukuroi | SheWalksSoftly

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