Kintsugi (金継ぎ) and Resilience

The Japanese art of Kintsugi is a good example of how resilience can play out in real life — and sometimes over centuries. It is the act of taking what is broken, and then using gold to glue it back together again. It makes something old, into something completely new again.

Public Domain image via Wikipedia

You can see this way of restoring what is broken in this mini-documentary on the BBC with the theme of “embracing the imperfect.”

On the NY Met’s site they have a page dedicated to Kintsugi, and the School of Life does a nice job describing it as well—pointing out that it means, “to join with gold.” The SoL has TED-style education videos now, and this is their walk through:

From a less stilted point of view, I like how this video author refers to it as “the art of embracing damage” — that’s quite poetic.

You might notice how different this approach is from the runaway hit popularity of Marie Kondo’s notion of “throwing away anything that doesn’t spark joy” …