Tea bowl, White Satsuma ware
© Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F1904.323
This picture illustrates the art of Kintsugi. Kintsugi is “golden joinery” and is a way to repair ceramics using gold.
Ceramics that have been broken can become even more beautiful and the breaks define their beauty.
One of the stories behind Kintsugi is that of a Japanese shogun who had a beloved tea bowl which he sent to be repaired after it had been broken. He was devastated to discover it had been repaired with ugly staples. A Japanese craftsman assured him he could repair it. This craftsman repaired it with pure gold. The cracks were even more visible but the bowl was much more beautiful because of it.
This has much resonance for mental and physical illness, where those scarred mentally and physically are perhaps more beautiful; not to be stigmatised but to be valued.
Thank you to Dr Deepa Parry-Gupta for the suggestion to feature this concept and for providing the cover image description.
We are always looking for interesting and visually appealing images for the cover of the Journal and would welcome suggestions or pictures, which should be sent to Dr Allan Beveridge, British Journal of Psychiatry, 21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB, UK or email@example.com.