The deep meaning of Kintsugi: Its emotional and spiritual teaching

By: Alfred Guinaroan

Meaning of Kintsugi

© Kin Boru

The philosophy of Kintsugi goes beyond a ceramic repair technique, beyond the object.

We are going to tell you about the approaches of this art to many aspects of life and how modern Western psychology has seen the richness of this Japanese philosophy applied not only to the material, but also to the emotional.

About the definition of Kintsugi


If you don’t know yet what it is, Kintsugi is a technique of repairing broken ceramics that comes from Japan. It is believed to have been born around the 15th century.


What it means in English:

The meaning of the word Kintsugi literally means, in Japanese, joining or repairing with gold ( written 金継ぎ).

It consists of joining the pieces of objects made of ceramic or other materials, using some adhesive material mixed with gold dust, silver or other precious material.

In this way, objects are repaired in an ostentatious manner, in which the importance of the joints or breaks surpasses even that of the original object, which is reborn with a new beauty.

Through this process, a kind of “golden scar” is created that highlights the cracks and makes the object even more beautiful and valuable than before.

Kintsugi: Its deep meaning.


These scars symbolize painful life experiences. They are not to be hidden, but make us who we are.

We get through most of the media an “imposition” to look good and to appear euphoric at all times that leads some people to hide their fears, frustrations, sadness and all the moods that do not fit a stereotype that tyrannizes us.

That, which has caused us rupture, wound, gives us strength and imprints us character, and is something valuable that should not be hidden, but exhibited as something valuable, as it is done with gold.

spiritual significance of kintsugi

© 4 Nature Design

A metaphor for life


Kintsugi can be seen as a powerful metaphor for human resilience. In our lives, we all experience moments of pain, loss and trauma that can leave us emotionally wounded. But like Kintsugi, we can choose to repair those wounds and transform them into something beautiful and valuable.

In psychology, there are several therapies related to Japanese philosophy. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns, helping people to rebuild their self-esteem and regain their emotional well-being.

Art therapy can also be helpful, as it allows people to express their emotions and process their experiences through artistic creation.

The Japanese philosophy of Kintsugi and its personal application


It should be noted that in Japan, art, philosophy and religion are linked beyond the symbolic.

To apply the philosophy of kintsugi in our daily lives, it is important to learn to accept our imperfections and learn from them. Instead of hiding or denying our wounds, we can see them as opportunities to grow and become stronger. It is important to recognize that emotional scars do not define us, but are part of our history and make us who we are.

We can also practice gratitude and appreciation for what we have in our lives, including our relationships, our experiences and our own strengths and virtues. Like Japanese Kintsugi, we can learn to see what seems broken or damaged as beautiful and valuable, and remember that our history makes us unique and precious.

In short, this philosophy invites us to embrace our imperfections and find beauty in our emotional scars. In doing so, we can learn to be more resilient, grateful and loving to ourselves and others.

Japanese philosophy gives Kintsugi the meaning of appreciation for things as they are. Zen Buddhism emphasizes this attitude towards life: to accept and appreciate it as it is.

Thus, the “repair” in this sense is that, the breaks become beautiful scars. This is one of the keys to human resilience, which helps to face the difficulties of life with courage.

philosophy of kintsugi

© 4 Nature Design

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