This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

 

Perhaps you might have seen, or heard of origami, Japanese paper folding. Or maybe you have experienced making a paper crane or a box with a sheet of colored square paper at a cultural exchange event or something.
What is origami about?

The goal of this art is to transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques, and as such the use of cuts or glue are not considered to be origami.

en.wikipedia

20140408-204220

smartauto.jp

Here are some facts about this friendly art that is becoming popular across the world.

Who started it and when?

It is not known for sure. Some say that people were already doing something similar to origami more than 1,000 years ago for formal ceremonies.

Origami butterflies were used during the celebration of Shinto weddings to represent the bride and groom, so paperfolding had already become a significant aspect of Japanese ceremony by the Heian period (794–1185) of Japanese history, …

en.wikipedia

Origami Butterflies

t-kazari-l
yuinoo.net

Samurai warriors would exchange gifts adorned with noshi, a sort of good luck token made of folded strips of paper.

en.wikipedia

Noshi

d0151936_18483432
kagamiru.exblog.jp

Then, paper folding seems to have become more popular among people as a fun pastime. Several Ukiyoe (traditional Japanese painting) of Genroku Era (1688-1704) show some origami items as patterns on kimono outfit.

This is an illustration from a book, “Genshoku Nihon no Bijutsu (The full colored Japanese art).”

24515671_1227134682_41large
blog.goo.ne.jp

After the feudal era, origami made its way into education.

During the Meiji period (1868-1912), origami was used as a teaching tool in the kindergarten and elementary school levels. Japan’s origami was greatly influenced by Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel (1782-1852), a mid-nineteenth century German educator’s method of teaching derived from European traditional origami, which further developed into folding to make various geometrical shapes, and was widely adopted particularly in the Japanese kindergartens.

origami.gr.jp

Now many children in Japan learn how to make a couple of popular origami items at home or kindergartens.

So what kind of origami works are out there?

Popular ones among kids

Most children in Japan know how to make one of two of these.

Picture-496

thegold2.jp.net

Usually the instruction comes with illustrations like this:

640px-Origami-Basisfaltungen

en.wikipedia

Artistic ones!

The rule of “no use of scissors or glue” seems to be giving an inspiring challenge to those with artistic minds.

5705285393_9cb55129c3_z
Photo by Dominic Alves on flickr
Paper-Art-by-Byriah-Loper-
photographyheat.com
FY596GVF8MMCDLE.LARGE
instructables.com

user862_pic14617_1241895792

wastetimepost.com

Of course, anime & cartoon characters, too!

item_03_l
totoro.origami.enskyshop.com

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

vongi.blog72.fc2.com

Who said you have to use origami paper all the time?

Even a teabag envelope can be used for origami.

1210_teaXmas1
handmade.xsrv.jp

Or have you witnessed your Japanese friend making a chopstick rest using waribashi (disposable chopsticks) envelope at an Izakaya pub? This is an awfully useful skill, isn’t it?

192f88bde51305c231cb5ee83420ef87

blog.goo.ne.jp

c12eaaa983574420011d76cd7b009181

blog.goo.ne.jp

And how about this one?!

One_Dollar_Camera_by_orudorumagi11

orudorumagi11.deviantart.com

Can I make it into an accessory?

Yes, you can. First you make your favorite origami items, then coat them with resin.  If resin is not available, nail polish top coat can work as well, they say.

cz-002131-2
item.rakuten.co.jp
cz-002131-3
item.rakuten.co.jp

And how is it related to wishes?

Perhaps, one of the reasons why origami has spread worldwide is that it is associated with people’s wishes. Especially, paper crane has a special meaning in Japan; they say that if you fold one thousand of them, your wish will come true. So, folding paper cranes for sick family members or friends, wishing their fast recovery, is a common thing to do.

This photo shows the statue of Sadako Sasaki who died of leukemia caused by the radiation from the Hiroshima atomic bomb. She folded origami paper cranes, wishing for world peace.

Peace park statue

photo by Lisa Norwood on Wikipedia

Her story has been introduced overseas and now paper cranes are a symbol of peace and strong bonds among people.

The symbol brought us together after the 3.11 earthquake, too.

5532103910_b65acb0a74_o
Photo by Felice Candilio

Perhaps, that is what makes origami unique and special.

12459264874_55f7c5378b_b
Photo by Takuma Kimura on flickr

Instructional Videos

Now, if you want to give origami a try, these links have many instructional videos including how to make paper crane and some popular anime characters.

http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2140548991734587001?&page=1

http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2140548991734587001?&page=2

And this one shows you how to turn your origami masterpiece into an accessory.

Enjoy!!

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone