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Mending Cracks with Gold

Samira Ahmed considers the value of damaged people and goods, drawing inspiration from the ancient Japanese practice of repairing broken pottery with gold.

What can we learn from a broken teapot?

According to legend, when a 15th century shogun smashed his treasured pottery, Japanese artists repaired it with gold. Kintsugi, as the practice is known, gives new life to damaged goods by celebrating their frailty and history. Samira Ahmed considers how we might live a kintsugi life, finding value in the ‘cracks' - whether it's the scars showing how we have lived, finding new purpose through loss, or learning to love ourselves despite our flaws.

With readings from The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura, Haruki Murakami's After the Quake, and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam - and music from Michio Miyagi, the Rolling Stones and Elizabethan composer, John Dowland.

Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Jo Fidgen
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

28 minutes

On radio

Sun 21 Mar 2021 06:05

Music Played

  • Michio Miyagi

    Haru No Umi

    Performer: Yamato Ensemble

    • Japanese Music by Michio Miyagi Volume 1.
    • ARC Music.
  • John Dowland

    Sorrow, Stay

    Performer: Justin Burwood (tenor) and Rosemary Hodgson (lute)

    • Sorrow Stay.
    • ABC Classics.
    • B008CWR79K.
  • Gregor F. Narholz

    Ancient Art

    Performer: Sonoton Music

    • Ancient Cultures 1.
    • SCD0325.
  • Leonard Cohen


    Performer: Leonard Cohen

    • The Future.
    • Columbia Legacy.
  • Muddy Waters

    After Hours

    Composer: Avery Parrish

    • Can't Get No Grindin'.
    • Chess.
  • The Rolling Stones

    Down Home Girl

    Composer: Artie Butler

    • Rolling Stones - First.
    • Polydor.
  • Michio Miyagi

    Haru No Yo

    Performer: Yamato Ensemble

    • Japanese Music by Michio Miyagi Volume 1.
    • ARC Music.


  • Sun 1 Sep 2013 06:05
  • Sun 1 Sep 2013 23:30
  • Sun 21 Mar 2021 06:05
  • Sun 21 Mar 2021 23:30