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“Kintsugi” and “rags”: “Wabisabi” for mending


Japan's aesthetic sense of "repair"

In Japan, there is an aesthetic sense called "Wabi-Sabi", and one of the elements that forms this concept is the culture of mending scars and repair marks and enjoying those repair marks. In ceramics, it is famous for repairing cracks using kintsugi, and in cloth, it is famous for boro, which is used to patch clothing with holes. Using ``kintsugi'' and ``boro'' as examples, we will explain what kind of concept and historical circumstances led to the birth of the idea of ​​``mending,'' which is currently being reevaluated around the world in the context of sustainability. To go.

Source: Japan Kintsugi Association HP

History of Kintsugi

Kintsugi is a traditional Japanese repair technique for repairing cracks, chips, and cracks in pottery. There are various theories about its history, but it is said that the current kintsugi technique was born more than 400 years ago, from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to the Edo period, during the ``Chanoyu'' period. ``Chanoyu'' is a style of tea ceremony that Sen no Rikyu mastered and perfected a style of tea ceremony called ``Wabicha'' that minimizes waste. This style continues in today's tea ceremony and remains deeply rooted in Japanese culture. At that time, tea ceremony was enjoyed as a hobby by powerful people with great wealth, such as feudal lords and great merchants. Even if the utensils used are handled with care, cracks or chips may occur. The idea of ​​repairing such vessels and using them with care was the basis for the current practice of kintsugi. Although it was established as a technique during the tea ceremony period, the act of repairing broken items has been going on for thousands of years, with traces of earthenware being patched with lacquer as early as the Jomon period.

Source: Japan Kintsugi Association HP

Kintsugi technique

The Kintsugi technique is a method of repairing broken or chipped ceramics, lacquerware, etc. by connecting them with lacquer. Lacquer is obtained from sumac trees and black trees, and when dried it has a very strong hardening effect that is harmless to the human body. It can be said to be a strong natural adhesive. In Kintsugi, the scars are treated as landscapes, and the joints are decorated with metal powder such as gold or silver. Kintsugi is carried out based on the idea of ​​breathing new life into an item by considering it as part of the history of the item, rather than just pretending that the damage never happened.

Source: Tsutsumi Asakichi Lacquer Store HP

History of BORO

The history of boro begins before the Edo period. In regions such as Tohoku and Hokuriku, which are known for their extremely cold weather and heavy snowfall, the only protection against the cold was clothing such as kimonos. However, clothing at that time was extremely expensive, and few farmers or fishermen could afford to buy new clothing. As a result, they continue to wear the same clothes every day, which inevitably causes them to become frayed and torn at the elbows and hems. Living in the extremely cold climate, wearing clothes with holes in them will make it difficult to withstand the cold, so you can use linen cloth, rags, old futons, etc. to hang together and sew them together to get rid of your old clothes. They were reinforced and continued to be worn, passed on to the next generation, and the generation after that, and have survived to this day.

Source: Heddels HP

``Bolo'' technique

The “rag” technique was created in Aomori as a way to make cloth and clothing last longer. Indigo-dyed linen scraps are sewn to mend frayed clothing and add thickness to help protect against the cold. Although it is now known as patchwork, patchwork of cloth is the origin of rags. However, after the war, when cotton became more readily available, these traditional "rags" began to disappear from everyday life, and now some "rags" are traded at very high prices. It enhances the artistic value. When I went to an antique market, I heard that famous overseas auction houses were selling rags for around 100 billion yen, so there seems to be a strong base of collectors. In addition, rags have become a source of inspiration for designers, including Louis Vuitton, Yohji Yamamoto, and Issey Miyake, who have created works inspired by rags.

Source: Heddels HP

Incorporating the aesthetic sense of “repair” into daily life

"Kintsugi" and "boro" are not only environmentally friendly, but also give us an aesthetic sense that allows us to feel small happiness in everyday life and trivial events. I think that if we can discover small happiness in our daily lives, our lives will move in a better direction, and I feel that ``kintsugi'' and ``boro'' teach us how to discover such happiness. To do.

Although we now live in an age where we can enjoy things and things anywhere, we believe that there are hints to enriching our lives by learning about Japan's ancient aesthetic sensibilities and ways of living. In addition to disseminating information about towns, architecture, crafts, and food that are connected to Japan's ancient aesthetic sensibilities, we also operate a select shop that focuses on handicrafts. If you are interested, please check the select shops as well.

OBORO Select Shop Link

Reference link

Japan Kintsugi Association | This is the homepage of the Japan Kintsugi Association. Properly inheriting the traditional Japanese techniques of ``kintsugi'' and ``spirituality,'' which are being lost, and creating a sustainable culture and art with modern interpretation and safety that can be used in each country or region. The purpose is to pass down the ``Kintsugi'' technique. (japan-kintsugi.jp)


[Traditional Japanese Technique] What is “Kintsugi”? A thorough explanation of its history and charm - Otakaraya, the gold and precious metal brand purchaser (otakaraya.jp)


What is Kintsugi? Introducing the history, techniques, why tea masters of the Sengoku period loved it, its charms, and courses | Waraku web Learn more about Japan, the land of beauty! (intojapanwaraku.com)

BORO's sincere love for collecting old Japanese clothing - PAPERSKY

Clothes that connect 150 years. The reason why "BORO" is attracting attention around the world. | TABI LABO (tabi-labo.com)

What is the history of [boro/ranru] (countrygentleman.co)


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