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What is the history of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery?

Kintsugi (金継ぎ, "golden joinery") is a traditional Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The philosophy behind the art is to recognize the history of the object and to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it. The practice of Kintsugi originated in the 15th century in Japan.

The history of Kintsugi can be traced back to the Muromachi period (1336-1573). During this period, a Japanese craftsman is said to have repaired a broken Chinese tea bowl with lacquer mixed with gold dust. This bowl was presented to Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the 8th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate. Yoshimasa was so impressed by the repair that he named the technique “Kintsugi”, which translates to “golden joinery”.

In the Edo period (1603-1868) Kintsugi became popular among the samurai class. It was seen as a way to restore a broken item to its former glory, while also recognizing its history and adding a unique aesthetic.

In modern times, Kintsugi has become a popular art form, with people using it to repair broken items and create unique pieces of art. It is seen as a way to appreciate the beauty of imperfection and to recognize the history of an object. Kintsugi is often used as a metaphor for life, with the idea being that one should embrace the flaws and imperfections in life and use them to create something beautiful.

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