The recent earthquake in Kumamoto has damaged many houses and roads. Not only that but the little things such as pots and plates have also been damaged. While new pottery items can be bought, some of them have sentimental value, and the owners may feel sad to part with their treasured pieces. Thus, in a bid to help the residents of Kumamoto, a kind samaritan has offered his help to fix that broken pottery!
Kunio Nakamura is the owner of Roku Jigen cafe in Tokyo. In addition to being a cafe owner, he is also skilled in kintsugi which is a traditional art form in mending broken pottery. The way kintsugi fixes the cracks and joins together broken pieces of pottery is through the usage of a lacquer mixed with gold, platinum, or silver. The result is a beautiful piece of pottery which is certain to be more aesthetically pleasing than the unbroken ones! The principle of kintsugi is based on the wabi-sabi which is about seeing beauty in imperfections.
Some residents of Kumamoto may prefer to have their pottery fixed in a way where it is not obvious that the pottery was previously broken. In this case, Kunio Nakamura also offers to fix the pottery in a manner which makes it as close to the original as possible, without obvious signs of repair. This method is known as kyonaoshi.
Through Kunio Nakamura’s Twitter account, he had urged those who had suffered from the Kumamoto earthquake disaster not to throw away their broken pottery, but instead, tape the pieces temporarily and keep them in plastic bags. He plans to go to Kumamoto and fix the broken pottery free of charge after the main recovery operations in Kumamoto have settled down. Even if the pottery may seem unsalvageable due to being too damaged, the broken pieces may be used to create other items, for instance, chopstick rests.
This is not the first time Kunio Nakamura has offered to help mend broken pottery for disaster victims. He had also done so for the victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake! The world certainly needs more kind souls like Kunio Nakamura, who is willing to go through the trouble to help others!