In Japan, when prized ceramics, especially those associated with chanoyu (the tea ceremony), were broken or damaged, they would be mended using lacquer that was often further embellished with gold or silver. Such repairs can have inherent artistic value, while imparting prestige to a vessel and its owner.
Karatsu is a type of ceramic produced around the Saga Prefecture of Japan. It is a high fired glazed ware which may be decorated or un-decorated. A variety of styles are produced including: E Karatsu (under glaze decoration), Korean or Chosen Karatsu(black under glaze with white over glaze), Ki Karatsu (yellow), Ao Karatsu (green), Hakeme Karatsu (brushed over glaze)and Kuro Karatsu (black).
Kintsugi Tea bowl
Karatsu ware, 18th century
Height 4.1 cm (1 1/2 in.)
Diam. 11.2 cm (4 1/2 in.)
Wooden box with inscription
On mended ceramics, see: Flickwerk. The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics, Exhibition Catalogue, Cornell University, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and Museum für Lackkunst, 2008