The Philosophy of Kintsugi: Embracing Imperfections and Rebuilding

Embracing Imperfections and Rebuilding The essence of human life and its dynamics has always been a captivating subject of discussion. It’s from these experiences that we understand we are not solitary beings. We can read and reflect upon the lives of others. The feelings and issues we face are often ones that others have also encountered. Joy and sorrow come and go in a cyclical manner.

However, there are times when we overlook the present moment. In times of happiness, we fail to relish that joy, fearing that sadness may soon follow. When we are sad, we tend to wallow in it, forgetting that we have the power to choose to remain happy.

Moreover, when shattered by dashed hopes, we might feel worthless, thinking our efforts are in vain. We may even feel undeserving of happiness, despite our well-laid plans. The best-laid plans cannot shield us from disappointment and sorrow. Feeling sad and disappointed does not always imply a personal flaw or error in our actions.

But it is a phase we must endure, one that shapes us into wiser individuals. Have you ever heard the saying, “a heart once broken can never be whole again”? Is it true that something that’s broken can never appear whole and beautiful again?

When it comes to breakage and beauty, let us turn to the philosophy of Kintsugi.

The story of Kintsugi dates back to the 15th century when a Japanese military leader, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, accidentally dropped his beloved and expensive tea cup. Yoshimasa sent the cup to China for repairs, but upon its return, it was merely stapled together with a piece of iron. Displeased with the warranty service, Yoshimasa sought the best artist in Japan to mend the cup in a more beautiful manner. This Japanese artist melted gold to fuse the cup’s fragments. The result was a teacup that surpassed its original beauty. Yoshimasa was elated. His cherished cup had been transformed into a work of art with great value.

The art of Kintsugi became popular for turning broken objects into something even more beautiful than before. Many intentionally shattered their pottery to have it repaired with Kintsugi.

From Kintsugi, we can draw a philosophy to apply in life. The beautiful cup symbolizes the life we desire, but when it eventually falls, it is beyond our control. We cannot force circumstances to conform to our desires. Then, when the cup shatters, it mirrors our emotions when dashed by shattered expectations. Naturally, we feel disappointed, sad, and broken.

Yet, we have the choice to mend what’s broken with something more valuable. Just like the broken cup repaired with golden fragments, it not only becomes whole again but gains a higher artistic value.

Perhaps, at this moment, you feel shattered and broken. Whether it’s due to unfulfilled dreams, disappointments from others, or any other reason, believe that nothing is in vain. We have the choice to mend what’s been broken.

Embrace all forms of imperfection. We can still seek ways to enhance our self-worth and increase our beauty as humans. To become complete without erasing the traces of imperfection. Completeness because we can embrace imperfection, because we can accept and add new value to our lives.

The Healing Power of Kintsugi in Our Lives

The philosophy of Kintsugi teaches us that there’s profound beauty in imperfection. Just like the mended teacup, our lives can become even more remarkable after enduring hardships and challenges. Here are some valuable lessons we can derive from Kintsugi:

1. Resilience in Adversity

Life is not always a smooth journey. Just as the teacup fell and shattered, we, too, face moments of brokenness. However, Kintsugi tells us that these moments are opportunities to display resilience. When faced with adversity, we can choose to rise, rebuild, and emerge stronger.

2. Embracing Our Flaws

Kintsugi encourages us to embrace our imperfections. Our flaws, much like the cracks in the mended cup, tell a story of our journey. They are a testament to our experiences and the strength we’ve gained from overcoming challenges.

3. The Transformation of Pain

When life’s disappointments and heartbreaks occur, it’s easy to focus on the pain and sorrow. Kintsugi shows us that, just like the teacup was transformed into a work of art, our pain can lead to personal growth and transformation. It’s within our power to turn adversity into an opportunity for positive change.

4. The Beauty of Resilience

The mended teacup isn’t merely repaired; it becomes a masterpiece. Similarly, as we overcome obstacles and heal from our emotional wounds, we can emerge as stronger, more beautiful individuals. Our resilience and ability to embrace our imperfections can make us shine even brighter.

5. Rebuilding with Purpose

Kintsugi teaches us that we have the power to rebuild our lives with purpose and intention. The golden seams represent the valuable lessons we’ve learned and the wisdom we’ve gained. By adding purpose to our lives, we can create something even more meaningful than before.


In the philosophy of Kintsugi, we find a powerful metaphor for life. It illustrates that we can find beauty in our imperfections, resilience in our adversity, and transformation in our pain. Just as a broken teacup can become a masterpiece, our lives have the potential to become something even more beautiful and valuable after facing challenges. Embracing the philosophy of Kintsugi allows us to mend what’s broken, celebrate our imperfections, and create a life that is not only whole but also richer and more meaningful.

So, in your journey through life, remember the wisdom of Kintsugi and know that your experiences, however challenging, can be the golden threads that make your life a true work of art.