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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Why the Word "Kintsukuroi" Means So Much To You

Kintsukuroi (keen-tsoo-koo-roy) is the Japanese art of repaired pottery.

But it's something more than that. An important something.

When a potter makes a bowl, he makes it by hand with malleable clay.  The bowl is formed to the potter's liking, then fired to a couple thousand degrees.  Afterwards, it is finished and presented as a true work of art.

Now, let's say the bowl broke.  Would you even consider repairing it, let alone consider it more beautiful for having been broken?  Of course not!  We (especially in the Western world) demote and dishonor it, throwing it out in the trash.

But others would not only repair it, but also elevate it to a whole new level of appreciation.

The Origin of the Repaired-Ceramics Artform 


We'll have to go back to mid-1500 Japan for that.  The story is told of a bowl that was much loved by a military ruler. One day during a gathering, a servant accidentally dropped the bowl, which broke into five pieces.  Everyone paused, fearing for the young man as the military leader was known to possess a quick,  harsh temper.  Then one of the guests improvised a comic poem about the incident, provoking laughter all around and restoring the leader to good spirits.

This story goes on to say that instead of the break "…diminishing [the bowl's] appeal, a new sense of its vitality and resilience raised appreciation to even greater heights."  The bowl had become more beautiful for having been broken.  The true life of the bowl "…began the moment it was dropped…"

From that day onward, mended bowls have been used and cherished for generations.  In Japan, cracks in precious bowls are often filled with gold.  The Japanese believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful (see here for more detail).

"Bruised, Broken, Torn for us..."


Almost 2,000 years ago, someone once was bruised, broken and torn...for you.  Shortly afterwards, His body was cast aside.  Even though He soon resurrected, the signs of His brokenness and His scars -- for you -- remain.

It's because of Him -- Jesus Christ -- that we experience new vitality, new resilience and new life at greater heights.

Human Kintsukuroi


I have many friends who have been literally beaten, broken, torn up and kicked to the curb like trash.  Some, for years.

Yet they get up again, stand tall, and praise His name for His wonderful example of overcoming all things.

They have been healed with gold (the metal of the Celestial realms; D&C 137) and leave me with profound appreciation for their example, too.

Kintsukuroi (keen-tsoo-koo-roy).

It's the Japanese art of repaired pottery.

It's also a reminder that all those cracks, lines, chips and breaks in your life are what makes you beautiful and far more valuable to your Creator...

10 comments:

  1. Thank you; I want to look this over--

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  2. Thank you! Thank you! Your kind words have helped me feel that my cracks and wounds can be beautiful in the repairing that the Potter does.

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  3. All I can say is WOW. So simple and profoundly true.

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  4. Jesus' grace is so precious. We, simple vessels created from the earth, are healed and made beautiful through His love and generosity. I wouldn't trade the pain and experience I've gained throughout my life for anything . . . because without them, I wouldn't know His love, His grace, His healing. He is what makes my life beautiful. :)

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  5. Crazy how that one word can mean so much. Its nice to hav a word to make a person feel so unbroken. :)

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  6. Thanks for sharing! Such a simple, yet so profound, message...He brings beauty from our ashes

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  7. Most of our restoration customers would like the damage to their broken item to be concealed and hidden by the repair making it "look as new." An alternative to masking the repair could be a restoration in which the damage is incorporated into the aesthetic of the restored item and becomes artistically "better than new." This sometimes adds value as in the Japanese Kintsugi repair method.

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  8. Thank you...finding my healing through these words.Seeking beauty in my brokenness...trying to believe that it is not over with me and my life yet...that there is still beauty within me.That I could still be of use am of value despite everything.

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  9. Can you imagine how difficult it must be to repair pottery with gold? Much more difficult than making the pot in the first place. This whole post and comments brought tears to my eyes...

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  10. More information and photos of Kintsugi / Kintsukuroi:

    http://lakesidepottery.com/Pages/kintsugi-repairing-ceramic-with-gold-and-lacquer-better-than-new.htm

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