More Beautiful for Being Broken: Kintsukuroi

“The Japanese art of Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, repairs broken pottery with seams of gold. This repairs the brokenness in a way that makes the object even more beautiful for being broken.”

This is a powerful metaphor of the beauty of restoration – a restoration that does not exactly return to the old pattern, but embellishes beauty along fractured lines of our brokenness.

Artist Teresita Fernandez said this:

In Japan there is a kind of reverence for the art of mending…  A broken bowl would be valued precisely because of the exquisite nature of how it was repaired…

Often, we try to repair broken things in such a way as to conceal the repair and make it “good as new.” But the tea masters understood that by repairing the broken bowl with the distinct beauty of radiant gold, they could create an alternative to “good as new” and instead employ a “better than new” aesthetic. They understood that a conspicuous, artful repair actually adds value. Because after mending, the bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that post repair were even more special because the bowl could then resemble nothing but itself.

Here lies that radical physical transformation from useless to priceless, from failure to success. All of the fumbling and awkward moments you will go through, all of the failed attempts, all of the near misses, all of the spontaneous curiosity will eventually start to steer you in exactly the right direction.

To listen to Fernandez’ whole speech, go to “What it Really Takes to be an Artist.”

Japanese symbol for rebirth and new beginnings



“We break, we feel and we possess the courage to heal.
Kintsugi art is a “golden token” to remind us that we are more beautiful for being broken.”

Mission Statement of:

“There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen, Anthem

“Gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight”

Bruce Cockburn, Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Kintsukuroi lamp

More beautiful for being broken

Let me embrace this fragmentation;
let me join You in searching for the shards #
and watch, holding my breath,
as you fill the cracks with gold
that let its luminescence leak through
with the incandescence of your presence.

More beautiful for being broken,
like artists who pulverize plants for paint,
or mineral pigments crushed;
they suffer to release their royal hues,
splendid and liquid and chrysalid,
the place where beauty and tragedy meet.

More wonderful for being wounded?
This space where the light gets trapped
and refracted within the pigments;
The grace arena where it all happens: *
Light snared and shaped in the gap
between the layers of paints and strokes. 

More beautiful for being broken
I do this to remember You,
and You do this to remember me?
You, the prism of fractured light
of hidden colours until the moment
Radiance travels through the Triune.

Only in You can we be more beautiful for being broken

#Psalm 74:3
* Credit to artist, Makoto Fujimura:
Interview in “Objects of Grace

For more, see video in: “Kintsugi: Japan’s ancient art of embracing imperfection.” Terushi Sho writes:

“The kintsugi technique (meaning “to join with gold”) is an extension of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which sees beauty in the incomplete and value in simplicity. The broken pieces’ gilded restoration usually takes up to three months, as the fragments are carefully glued together with the sap of an indigenous Japanese tree, left to dry for a few weeks and then adorned with gold running along its cracks.

In an age of mass production and quick disposal, learning to accept and celebrate scars and flaws is a powerful lesson in humanity and sustainability.”



About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
This entry was posted in Poems, Prayers, Proverbs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to More Beautiful for Being Broken: Kintsukuroi

  1. I love this thank you for sharing this

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on emotionalpeace and commented:
    This was shared with me and I want to pass it on

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lesley says:

    Thank you for Sharing this with me, Rusty. It’s such a beautiful concept. I would like to share this on my site.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lesley says:

    Reblogged this on Moment by Moment and commented:
    Here is a beautiful post from R.H. (Rusty) Foerger. I’d like to share it because of my aesthetic interest in Kintsugi and for all those who feel broken.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sabishī says:

    “…learning to accept and celebrate scars and flaws is a powerful lesson in humanity and sustainability.” So very true! Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sienablue says:

    Thanks for following my blog, and for this enlightening post. I smiled as I looked at the surgical scars on my leg, and also thought of the past events that felt like they left me shattered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you are able to smile at your surgical scars. I think there is also something about running our fingers over the bevelled rifts of our scars that reminds us of how they got there, and how we’ve managed with them since. There is mystery there.


  7. Pingback: More Beautiful for Being Broken – Mending Trauma | Curriculum of the Spiritual Life

  8. Bella Rae says:

    This is a beautiful read. I think I felt a terrible relief reading it, I cried and said, ‘look, there I am!’ Beauty from ashes, thank you for posting and sharing

    Liked by 1 person

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