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The Kintsugi Story


In the 15th century a mighty Japanese warrior broke his favourite tea bowl and decided to send it to China for repair. Rather than returning as the beautiful bowl he so cherished, he received the item held together with ugly metal staples. Understandably, the warrior was disappointed, and so longed for the bowl he used to have. 


The warrior asked a Japanese craftsman to come up with a more attractive solution, one that would add to the beauty of the tea bowl. The craftsman came up with a new technique of mending the cracks with a lacquer resin mixed with gold. This time, when the warrior received his bowl, streaks of gold ran through it where the cracks had been before. He thought the bowl looked even more beautiful than it had before it was broken. Since then, this method of repair became known as kintsugi.


Kintsugi (pronounced kent-soo-ghee) is the Japanese philosophy of recognising beauty in damage and repair whilst also identifying that healing becomes part of the history of an object, not something to disguise, be ashamed of, or hide.


Kintsugi is equally a powerful representation of human life. We are all a combination of our experiences, both those of joy and sadness. Kintsugi reminds us to not shy away and hide our scars, but rather wear them proudly, recognise the strength and beauty they give us, and appreciate and respect the person we have become along the way.


In my counselling practice, I draw on the concept of kintsugi, recognising that there is beauty amongst the scars and pain, and together, work with you to enable you to appreciate the strength and resilience that you have within yourself. 

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