The art of repairing with gold

Tucked away in Tokyo’s luxury boutique district of Omotesando lies Saideigawa Pottery Studio, where founder and ceramic artisan Taku Nakano teaches kintsugi (gold joinery) to a growing number of business groups.

A look inside Saideigawa Pottery Studio

The traditional skill of using powdered or lacquered gold to repair broken pottery was born out of practicality, before it became a respected artform in the 14th century. Today, this rare activity offers insight into a fascinating side of Japanese culture and gives participants a stunning, luxury souvenir.

At Saideigawa, Nakano begins each 90-minute session by explaining the three philosophies behind kintsugi: nothing should be wasted; every object should get a second chance; and what people perceive as flaws can be beautiful.

The seven-step process involves choosing a broken plate, outlining the cracks with a marker, taping the pieces together, smoothing the surfaces, filling the cracks with resin and lacquer, adding the gold powder and polishing to perfection. With English instructions and patient, helpful staff, the activity is interesting, interactive and fun.

The basic package costs ¥6,600 (US$61) and offers a choice of three modern plates with old designs. Under the premium package, at ¥10,500, participants can work on a plate from the Edo-period (1603-1868), enabling participants to bring home a piece of history.

The studio can cater for up to 80 pax at one time and offers deals for groups dependent on their needs.

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