Kintsugi (金継ぎ) – A Metaphor For Resilience Through Adversity

Has life ever thrown some form of adversity or tragedy in your path? Perhaps you felt utterly broken and unable to see how you could carry on. Imagine if you were able to accept and feel compassion for your brokenness, rather than perceiving yourself as worthless.

A beautiful metaphor that illustrates this is the Japanese art of Kintsugi (金継ぎ). Thought to have begun in the 15th Century, Kintsugi means “golden” (“kin”), “repair” (“tsugi”). It is the art of repairing cracked and broken ceramics with a golden urushi lacquer. Instead of the broken object being thrown away as worthless, the cracks are enhanced so the scars are on show. The end result is something unique and valuable. The technique requires skill, patience, time and care. When we are going through difficult times we also need skill, patience, time and care.

Our imperfections become part of our uniqueness, beauty and value. The work and care we use in repairing becomes resilience.