A kindhearted man named Kunio Nakamura is volunteering his time and craft skills to help aid the citizens of Kumamoto, Japan, after a series of earthquake tremors devastated the region. A business owner in Tokyo, Nakamura also has a passion for kintsugi, a traditional Japanese method of pottery repair. As the quakes swept through the prefecture, they left behind severe structural damage, including shattered personal belongings such as antique family heirloom ceramics that have substantial sentimental value for the effected citizens.
This is where Nakamura and his craftsmanship comes in. His practice of kintsugi, translated as “golden joinery,” celebrates fractures as additions to each piece’s unique character and history. It works by patching the ceramic fragments together with a bonding lacquer that contains gold or other precious metals. The philosophy of the art is to accept the fact that delicate items become cracked or broken, but this doesn’t have to alter their functionality. Cracks can be fixed, and fragments can be repaired to make items whole once again.
Through his Twitter account, Nakamura has been encouraging citizens in the area to hold onto their broken pottery pieces until he can travel throughout Kumamoto and share his services, free of charge. Even if the extent of damage to the ceramics is great, Nakamura motivates the locals to consider re-crafting the broken ceramics into new items.