|In Kintsugi . Lacquer resin and gold powder are used to join broken pieces of pottery|
Human beings are strange creatures. Right when you think they are capable of cruelty of the highest order comes someone like Kunio Nakamura. And all over again you begin to believe in the kindness of human beings. However, Kunio’s is a strange kind of kindness 🙂
Kumamoto in Japan was rocked by severe earthquakes recently. People are just about picking up the pieces of their lives — which by the way includes a lot of shattered ceramics — you know, plates, bowls, cups et al. However, most of these are antique and heirloom pieces and means a lot to the families.
This is where Kunio, who runs a cafe in Tokyo (“a gathering place for lovers of literature and music”) steps in. Kunio has a passion for kintsugi, a traditional Japanese art of restoring pottery. Kintsugi means “golden joinery”. Lacquer resin and gold powder are used to join broken pieces of pottery back together in this art form. The results are stunning and more often than not, the object looks more beautiful after it has been restored than in its original form.
Through his twitter account, Kunio’s been urging the people of Kumamoto to hang on to the broken ceramics and not throw them away till he can personally travel to their homes and repair their pottery — free of charge.
Now it might take some time for Kunio to reach Kumamoto, because you see, Kunio is still repairing the damaged heirloom pieces in Tohoku, another province in Japan, which was devastated by the 2011 earthquake. Still, he’s been asking the people of Kumamoto not to give up hope and to pack their broken ceramics in a plastic bag and wait for him. And they are!