Picture of blue, orange, and golden tea bowl fixed using the Kintsugi method. The artist is Ruthann Hurwitz. Used as illustration for finding beauty in brokenness.

Brenda Johnson, MA, LPC, RPT-S, NCC 
Joy House Counseling Co-Director 

Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi) comes from the words “kin,” meaning golden, and “tsugi,” which means “to join or repair.” The legend of the Kintsugi comes from 15th century Japan. A mighty warrior broke his favorite bowl and sent it away for repairs. It returned stapled together, and he was very unhappy. So he gave the broken bowl to his craftsman who very carefully put the bowl back together again using resin mixed with gold. It not only returned repaired, but was much more valuable and beautiful. 

There is beauty in our brokenness. Instead of trying to hide our brokenness, or disguise it, the more we examine it, the stronger and more beautiful we can become.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” Revelation 21:5 tells us God is in the work of restoring a broken creation, including people: “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” 

We must continually examine and repair our woundedness and allow the Father to heal, strengthen and make us whole again. 

Brokenness, in God’s hands, is beauty.

Our Joy House counseling staff used Kintsugi as a therapy project for the ladies to do together. First, they each broke a vase, then glued it back together and went over the cracks with gold paint. Inside, on the broken pieces, they wrote the wounds that were in the process of being healed and made whole.

Image by Ruthann Hurwitz – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75662308