top of page

About Kintsugi

Kintsugi is originally a traditional technique of repairing vessels using lacquer. Recently, I have come to see Kintsugi in various places, but there are various ways to do it, and all of them are called "Kintsugi". Each person has a different method, but there are roughly three methods. It looks similar, but the materials used are very different.

① How to fix using only lacquer, natural materials, genuine gold and genuine silver

(2) A method in which only adhesion is performed with resin and the surface is finished with lacquer.

③ How to use adhesives, synthetic paints, alloy powders such as brass powder and aluminum powder

About ①

Specialized knowledge, experience, and skills are required to handle lacquer. Repairing lacquer takes time, but it can be used for a long time. The gold, silver, and lacquer used are natural materials, so it is safe to repair tableware . It will take at least 2-3 months. If you want to pay for a repair, or if you want to study in a Kintsugi class, we recommend using lacquer. (Lacquer will get a rash, so please handle it with care.)

About ②

Since this also handles lacquer, specialized knowledge, experience, and skills are required. Since the bonding is done with resin, it will be finished in a relatively short period of time compared to bonding with lacquer. Lacquer, real gold, and real silver are used for the work after bonding. There is almost no technical difference from ①, and there is no difference in the appearance of the finished product. It will be finished in about 1 to 2 months. Since the surface is finished with lacquer, the resin does not come into contact with food . It is suitable when you want to fix it in a hurry. Depending on the material to be bonded, there is an advantage that it is bonded more strongly than bonding with lacquer.

About ③

It can be done in a relatively short time and does not require specialized knowledge. Suitable for hands-on workshops. Many of the items sold as the first Kintsugi and Easy Kintsugi are here. (Books too)

Be careful, you may be using something that is harmful to the human body. Also, it is very easy to peel off and is not suitable for everyday tableware. If it is simple, it will be finished in one day.

New lacquer, to sell synthetic, with even the even synthetic paint has been described as a special lacquer taken from lacquer plant belonging to the family, please note that not a lacquer. Alloy powder is also said to be harmful to the human body.

Anyone can easily do it, so it is recommended for those who are new to Kintsugi and want to know the atmosphere.

What I am doing is ① and ② using lacquer. It is difficult to understand the difference in appearance, but I hope you will know that there is a difference. There are cases where lacquer is not used even in famous places that appear on TV and magazines, or in places that are caught in the top of the search, so please check it carefully and choose the one that suits you.

Kintsugi is interesting! If you think about it, I would like you to choose a genuine Kintsugi made of lacquer.

Story of lacquer tree

Lacquer used for Kintsugi. Although it is not well known, most of the lacquer currently used in Japan is imported from China. The self-sufficiency rate of domestic lacquer is 2%! !! It is a number that completely loses the culture of lacquer when imports are cut off.

Lacquer is made by collecting and refining the sap of lacquer trees. It takes about 15 years from planting seedlings to growing so that lacquer can be collected. Since the sap is collected by damaging the trunk, there is a limit to the amount that can be obtained from a single tree (200 cc in one season from a single tree!), And it will be cut down if it cannot be collected. It will take several years to a dozen years before new trees can be planted and lacquer can be collected. Lacquer is produced by repeating the long cycle.

Current status of lacquer

Economic development is progressing in China, the importer, and lacquer trees are being cut down to replace fields of more profitable crops. Furthermore, it is difficult to secure low-wage lacquer craftsmen. There is no guarantee that lacquer will continue to be supplied as it has in the past.

Concerned about such a situation, the Agency for Cultural Affairs announced that it will aim to use Japanese lacquer entirely for the restoration of buildings such as national treasures from 2018 in order to increase the cultivation of lacquer in Japan. Nowadays, lacquer planting activities have begun nationwide with the cooperation of local lacquer ware producing areas, local volunteers, and lacquer artists.

Lacquer time does not match the speed of the times. That may be true. It takes a huge amount of time and human hands to collect lacquer and to make it into a product. However, I want to convey what is really good to the next generation. I think that connecting the culture of lacquer starts with getting as many people as possible to know about lacquer and experiencing the goodness of lacquer.

Important things


This photograph is a soup bowl of lacquered inherited from my grandmother. In some places, the paint film on the surface has cracks, and I am using it now to fix the cracks and chips.

In an era when cheap and convenient items are easily available and disposable items are commonplace. "I'll throw it away because it's broken" "I have to buy a new one" I take it for granted.

Please stop once before throwing it away. The option to "fix".

A heart to choose and cherish what you like, regardless of price or brand. We hope that you will feel the attachment of using it carefully for a long time and the joy of continuing to use it for generations.

I hope you can feel the charm of lacquer through Kintsugi.

Gold Repair Studio Maya Higuchi

bottom of page