History of origami(折り紙)

I wanted to write a tutorial on how to make a paper origami crane but since it’s unorthadox since it’s rude not to tell the history of origami, so let me give you a quick history on origami.

Origami-crane (1)

Origami (折り紙?, from ori meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper” (kami changes to gami due to rendaku) is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which started in the 17th century AD at the latest and was popularized outside of Japan in the mid-1900s. It has since then evolved into a modern art form. 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. Paper cutting and gluing is usually considered kirigami.
rose origami arcobaleno Kartouche TorinoIn Japan, at one time origami was taught in schools but today, children are generally taught origami at home. Holidays are celebrated with colorful origami decorations made by the family. On children’s day (formerly boy’s day), children make colorful carp: a fish that swims upstream, against the current. This symbolizes strength. During the summer, Tanabata, The Star Festival is celebrated. Live bamboo branches are decorated with origami stars and other paper decorations in a manner which brings to mind a decorated Christmas tree.
Here are some interesting facts about origami:
1) Origami was said to have originated in China. However, Japan was the first country to popularized the craft of paper folding.
2) The first reference to paper folding in Japan was in a short poem by Ihara Saikaku in 1680 which describes paper butterflies (which represents the groom and bride in weddings) in a dream.
3) Samurai warriors would exchange gifts adorned with noshi, a sort of good luck token made of folded strips of paper.

4) Different types of papers are used as origami paper and Washi (和紙) is the traditional origami paper used in Japan.
5) Some complex origami, uses tools such as bone folders to help create the ‘perfect’ crease.
6) Maths is associated to origami.
7) The crane is the most well known origami models which originated from Japan
8) Early uses of origami were for formal ocassions such as weddings and funerals.
9) The beginning of modern origami were developed by Akira Yoshizawa in the 1930’s.
10) The earliest known origami was in the year 102 A.D.

Here are more pictures of origami and their types, remember them properly:

floral ball (modular origami)

modular origami

frog (action origami)

action origami

pureland origami

pureland origami

wet folding

wet-folding origami

origami tessellation

origami tessellation

castle (kirigami)


This is Suzie and I approve this post. Pictures are not mine.

For more information:

Wedding origami

Kawaii 3D modular origami


Highlights in origami history (simplified version)

Printable origami papers and tutorial

Origami history (non-simplified version)

More types of origami

By VP SuziePHS Posted in Culture

2 comments on “History of origami(折り紙)

  1. Suzieee 😛 Please consider setting only one category 😛 It’s frustrating if it appears on two places (at least I think so!) HMMM I don’t know la, what do you think?

    Also please do NOT select the parent category! In this case, please select only ‘Culture’. ‘Language and Culture’ is not necessary because it appears there automatically. If you select it, it adds to the confusion.

    In this case, apart from the confusion, there’s no harm done, but in other cases where ‘Culture’ is not even selected, this post won’t appear in either Language or Culture categories(!!) D:

    And also, thanks for adding Folktail in 😉 I’ve been thinking about putting it in.. Now obviously the parent category “Language and Culture” needs a new name…

    • Follow up to Choon Jie’s reply, I have removed it from the special category. I don’t think it should be in there. By special, it means that there’s no other category you can name it as, for example the post on the Emperor’s birthday.

      And, Suzie! You have not been listening! No tags!! Anyways, i removed them too. HAHA Sorry. 😛

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