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Kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as kintsukuroi (金繕い, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered goldsilver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

Kintsugi is not only a technique but also carries the Japanese meaning of wabi-sabi.

Kintsugi Wabisabi Cracked Glaze China Antique Teacup
Wabisabi Kintsugi Chinese Ming Dynasty Octantal Poetry Teacup|Ceramitique
Lacquerware is a longstanding tradition in Japan, and at some point, kintsugi may have been combined with maki-e as a replacement for other ceramic repair techniques. While the process is associated with Japanese craftsmen, the technique was also applied to ceramic pieces of other origins including China, Vietnam, and Korea.

From the point of bonding inspiration, Kintsugi is scriptures in the Song dynasty of China folk with curium porcelain, broken porcelain with metal like staple ``锔瓷 `` restructuring fixed.

Kintsugi is not only a technique but also carries the Japanese meaning of wabi-sabi. The modern fascination with kintsugi is related to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi. The word wabi-sabi, which emerged in the 16th century, acknowledges three simple truths: nothing lasts, nothing is accomplished, and nothing is perfect.

Wabi-sabi was born after the Introduction of Chinese Zen thought to Japan in the Tang and Song dynasties and the fusion of Japanese local culture. Kintsugi restoration of the Eastern way of “adaptation” to alleviate despair, is also the heart of meditation tolerance.

Kintsugi restoration has realized the journey from highlighting the restoration value of objects to reshaping artistic aesthetics, and then to self-cultivation. According to Ms. Geng Xiaoqing, a kintsugi restoration expert, kintsugi restoration is not only the regeneration of utensils but also the regeneration of the state of mind. Know how to cherish things, cherish the people and things around. If there is damage, take out the kintsugi spirit and use artistic creation techniques to balance the dead people and things.

Kintsugi became closely associated with ceramic vessels used for chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony). One theory is that kintsugi may have originated when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl back to China for repairs in the late 15th century. When it was returned, repaired with ugly metal staples, it may have prompted Japanese craftsmen to look for a more aesthetic means of repair. Collectors became so enamored of the new art that some were accused of deliberately smashing valuable pottery so it could be repaired with the gold seams of kintsugi. On the other hand, according to Bakōhan Saōki (record of tea-bowl with a ‘large-locust’ clamp), such “ugliness” was inspirational and Zen in a way as it connotes beauty in broken things. The bowl became valued even more highly because of these large metal staples, which looked like a locust and the bowl was named Bakōhan (large-locust clamp).


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