Kintsugi that put me in a better frame of mind

Kintsugi repair
One of my Kintsugi works


"This looks a lot more beautiful than the original one", someone said to me when I returned Kintsugi piece. That was the sweetest word that touched my heart lately. 


It's been a quite a while since I started Kintsugi. Luckily I have had a lot of chances to work with various broken pieces until now and Kintsugi has even become part of my life. I definitely love the time spending for Kintsugi and at the same time I found that it caused a slight change in my mind and lifetyle. 

Let me share this small but significant change brought to me through Kintsugi here. 

What makes me into Kintsugi?

Now that I think of it, one of the common scenery as a child was my granddad and dad used to fix various things around them cleverly, and it must have had a significant influence on me by now. 

When my daughter was very small, she often tore the books, which kept me busy with fixing them. One day when I put them back to the book shelf after fixing, I found it soothed and filled my heart. Since then I somehow started feeling that repairing has therapeutic effect. Now in the cupboard, I experienced the similar sense through Kintsugi. 

Kintsugi is the mother of upcycle

In these times of increasing environmental awareness, upcycle is the word that we often read and hear lately. Upcycle is the way to improve an item that would otherwise be wasted or thrown away by adding touch while recycling is an industrial process that components of a product is transformed into a new material and is used for the production of new items. To put it simply, upcycle is reusing with quality enhancement.


Kintsugi is exactly the embodiment of this concept that has amazingly more than 500 years of history!

3 things that Kintsugi has changed my lifestyle

1. Try mending instead of throwing away

One good example is socks, especially kids socks quickly tend to be worn out. These days we can easily and cheaply get new ones rather than mending, but I found myself automatically choose the latter option. I learnt that there's another upcycle example for repairing clothes called "darning". 


Another attempt is dyeing the stained white shirt with persimmon juice. It added the beautiful unique texture to the original one, which I really love. 

2. Minimize wasting, reusing instead

I found that in Kintsugi process I use many tissues for wiping and cleaning Urushi and other ingredients. I started wondering if it's reasonable to waste those resources to mend other items. So I got to use worn-out clothes instead of tissues as much as possible.


It can be even said for food that can promote more effective use of in many ways. For instance, kelp (Kombu) that makes stock (dashi) from can easily transformed into some preservable food boiled in soy source. By doing this, I could save not simply money, but also other stuffs such as plastic container and any additive and preservative that could have come with if I bought those at a store.

It is just fantastic, isn't it?


worn-out clothes
reusing worn-out clothes


3. Think twice before I make a purchase

Before I purchase a new stuff, it only takes a little thought if there's any item at home that can be replaceable? Is this something I can use for many years with affection? Is this repairable if it's broken? I naturally get to consider first like that instead of getting what I want or need right away.


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Even if you don't add any touch, you'll be able to find something around you that can be used in a different way. (Please refer to the blog about Mitate)


This is the way of life that you can enjoy with the things you already have regardless of its name. What you need is imagination, creativity and importantly having fun!



Kintsugi process, which usually takes a few weeks to months depending on pieces to complete, builds expectations for a finish and results in a great sense of accomplishment. The piece that is brought to life again would grow into your cherished one, and naturally you'd show appreciation and respect to it. 

Kintsugi, beauty in imperfection

The impressive aspect in Kintsugi is the moment when unique value is born out of the broken piece. This unique value features beauty in imperfection revived by relying to the power of nature. It shows us the importance of accepting everything that comes their way as well as the value of nature. This is something that I could not understand nor realize when I was younger. I used to believe perfection and new things are the ideal world. But it actually is not.

From the various experience including discomfort and failure, I have grown and developed as a person by recognizing and accepting those. 



Kintsugi repair

The healed piece invites a rub with love. Kintsugi reminds me that every piece takes on its own life. 



We're living in such a convenient world where you can get most of things with easy access to wherever you are by online. When you think you want something, just browse online and choose from countless choices from across the world, then click and instantly delivered.


Where is our emotional fulfilment gone contrary to material fulfilment? Look at the familiar things around you, you'll find a lot that can be still usable, replaceable and even upgraded by adding a touch.

We all experienced this pandemic and the world is changing dramatically. Many of us realized that the most important is life and health, and then we're getting to seek life with more human well-being rather than economic or monetary one.  Therefore I think fostering spiritual richness extended from something close to you truly leads to fullness in our lives. 


As Earth day is approaching next week, why don't we review your surroundings to take a first step from your own backyard? That is going to be a big step.



bloom coffee bowl by Maiko Okuno

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