What is the religion of kintsugi?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

Kintsugi is not a religion in itself, but rather an art form that originated in Japan. However, it is closely associated with Buddhist philosophy and principles. Buddhism is a religion that emphasizes the path to enlightenment and the recognition of the impermanence and suffering inherent in life. Kintsugi, with its focus on repairing broken objects and embracing their flaws, aligns with these fundamental Buddhist teachings.

In Buddhism, the concept of impermanence, or the belief that all things are transient and subject to change, is a central tenet. Kintsugi beautifully embodies this notion by taking broken pottery and repairing it with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The repaired object then becomes a visual representation of its history, flaws, and journey. Instead of hiding or discarding the broken pieces, kintsugi celebrates and honors them. This practice encourages individuals to accept and embrace imperfections in themselves and in life.

The process of kintsugi can be seen as a metaphor for personal growth and enlightenment. Just as the broken pottery is transformed into a new, more beautiful object, individuals can mend the schisms in their own lives and find enlightenment. By acknowledging and accepting our imperfections, we can learn from them and use them as a source of strength and wisdom.

In my own experience, I have found that the practice of kintsugi can be deeply transformative. It has taught me to embrace my own flaws and imperfections, rather than constantly striving for an unattainable ideal. By recognizing and accepting my own brokenness, I have been able to heal and grow in ways I never thought possible.

Moreover, kintsugi reminds us that life is not about achieving perfection, but rather about finding beauty and meaning in the midst of our imperfections. It encourages us to let go of our attachment to the idea of perfection and instead focus on the present moment, embracing the journey and the lessons it offers.

While kintsugi is not a religion itself, it is closely tied to Buddhist principles and philosophy. The art form teaches us to reconcile our imperfections with enlightenment, by embracing and mending the broken pieces of our lives. By recognizing the transient nature of all things and accepting our flaws, we can find beauty, growth, and ultimately, enlightenment.