Traditional Kintsugi vs Modern Kintsugi

Hi everyone!

Assuming that you already know or heard “kintsugi”,

I’m gonna tell you the difference between traditional kintsugi and modern kintsugi 🙂

I hope you can choose one knowing with deep understanding 😀

What’s real kintsugi and how modern kintsugi was born?

It’s told that kintsugi started in Muromachi era (around the 15th century). Broken ceramics were repaired with urushi (a sap of tree) and natural ingredients.

So basically, kintsugi is kintsugi. Only one kintsugi.

Now, it is called “traditional kintsugi” because a few decades ago, another way of kintsugi started (this is called modern kintsugi).

Urushi has a characteristic as an adhesive. However, it cannot stick and completely harden right away… it needs some days in a special condition, such as high humidity and warm place.

This is why kintsugi was performed by artisans who are good at using urushi.

Now, our industry has dramatically developed and many synthetic items were made.

Artificial glue and epoxy can stick and fix things immediately.

This could replace the work of urushi for the purpose of sticking broken pieces together without waiting for long.

It could be reasonable that those industrial/synthetic chemical is used for kintsugi.

Advantage/disadvantage of traditional and modern kintsugi

Those two types of kintsugies have different characteristics. I think it may be helpful for you to know when you chose which to apply to repair your broken bowl.

Advantage of traditional kintsugi

Traditional kintsugi is food-safe because it uses usushi (a sap of tree) and natural ingredients such as flour, wood powder, and genuine gold powder. There is no chemical or synthetic glue.

In addition, this method is conveyed since the ancient time, so you can experience true Japanese culture.

Disadvantage of traditional kintsugi

As the ingredients were all natural, it may be regarded as trouble some because it takes time and needs special condition to harden urushi. After each process, we should leave our repairing items in “urushi box” which has 70-85% humidity and the temperature of 20-30 degrees Celcius.

In addition, we should avoid skin contact with urushi because urushi may cause skin irritation. We should wear rubber gloves and long sleeves to protect our skin while doing kintsugi.

Advantage of modern kintsugi

With modern kintsugi, you can finish repairing your broken item within 1-2 days because synthetic glue and/or epoxy pate dry(s) fast.

Moreover, the process is simple and the cost of the ingredients/tools is low.

Usually, synthetic glue and epoxy pate don’t cause skin irritation which can be seen with urushi.

Disadvantage of modern kintsugi

Synthetic glue and epoxy pate are industrial material so those are usually non food-safe. This means, you should avoid repairing your kitchenware to serve food with modern kintsugi.

Often, after finishing modern kintsugi, the repaired area smells like chemicals.

What we offer – traditional kintsugi

As I see many English websites in non-Japanese country, most kintsugies represent modern-kintsugi.

I wonder how many people know what authentic kintsugi is.

If everyone knows what the true kintsugi is and just choosing modern kintsugi because of its convenience, I’m totally fine.

But if most of you think modern kintsugi – breaking your intact bowl with hummer and stick with synthetic glue with gold color powder – is the real Japanese kintsugi, I am sad.

Therefore, I really want to spread the knowledge and beauty of traditional kintsugi to the world although it takes time and effort and money and risk of skin irritation. lol

While traditional kintsugi takes time and effort, the sense of accomplishment you get upon completion is exquisitely rewarding.

TSUGUKIT – Easiest traditional kintsugi at home

To minimize the difficulty of traditional kintsugi and spread real kintsugi to the world, we developed the easiest and simplest authentic kintsugi kit after five-time revisions!!

Kintsugi kit for beginners – TSUGUKIT – has following characteristics;

  • Food-safe, made of natural ingredients
  • You can experience Japanese traditional kintsugi method at home by yourself.
  • The manual and Youtube tutorial videos are also in English.
  • Compact size with stylish design, chosen as a special gift.
  • Best-selling kintsugi kit in the 3 biggest Japanese EC sites (Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping)
  • Hand-made, shipped from Japan.

But in the beginning, I wasn’t actually sure if my passion toward traditional kintsugi kit was accepted by many people…

It’s because our life became convenient and more and more people may prefer easy, fast, and cheap methods…

However, believe or not, our kit is selling the best in Japanese 3 biggest EC sites!!

And recently, our kit increasingly sells to the works through Etsy, eBay and our company website 🙂

I am very happy that many people agreed with my thought and love real Japanese culture ;D

If you are interested in, please visit our shop website 🙂

Traditional Kintsugi Shop TSUGUTSUGU



And please subscrive our free YouTube tutorial video! We are uploading many English videos as well !!

Thank you very much for reading my article 🙂 – Yuki

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