Chasing Knowledge Presents: A Closer Look at Oragami

 

by Chase Mitchelson

Origami: the art of folding paper. Origami is an art that requires you to fold paper in different ways to create something completely different.

One of the most famous origami designs is the crane. The crane is a symbol of peace in Japanese culture. Legend says anyone who folds 1000 cranes will have their heart’s desire come true. The crane has become a symbol of peace because of this, and because of the young Japanese girl Sadako Sasaki.

Sadako was exposed to radiation from the Hiroshima bombing, and was suffering from leukemia when she was twelve in 1955. Her classmates told her of the legend and so she decided to make 1000 cranes so she could live. When she finished, and saw all the other the other children in her ward, she realized she wouldn’t survive, and wished for world peace and an end to the suffering.

Fun Facts

  • The word “origami” comes from the two Japanese words “ori” which means folded, and “kami” which means paper.
  • The Samurai of Japan gave each other gifts known as “noshi” paper folded with a strip of fish and were considered good luck.
  • An ancient Japanese legend says that if you were to fold one thousand cranes you were granted a wish.
  • Traditional origami uses a piece of paper 75 × 75mm (about 3 × 3 inches), 6-inch squares and 10-inch squares, and does not permit the use of cutting.
  • The largest number of origami cranes was created as part of the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. A total of 250,000 paper cranes were folded and displayed in a large memorial in the city. Each had a person’s name on it and a short, peaceful message.
  • A paper crane is a symbol for world peace.
  • Modern origami is quite different than what it once was. Instead of the single square sheet, making animals or things of the natural world, and no cutting or wet-folding, nowadays people are coming up with intricate designs and 3D shapes.
  • Wet-folding is dampening the paper somewhat so the product holds its shape better
  • Until recently, not all forms of paper folding was considered origami. Before that, paper folding was known by lots of different names, including “orikata”, “orisue”, “tatamigami” and others.
  • Japanese origami began sometime after the Buddhist monks brought over paper in the 6th century.
  • In 1797 the first known origami book was published: Senbazuru orikata.

 

Here is an instructional video on how to make a paper crane.

 

Paper crane:                                                        Paper crane instructions: image00                image03

 

Paper dragon:                                    Flower patterned origami paper:

image04                image01

 

Very small paper crane:                                         Paper rose:

image05                  image02

 

 

Article written by Chase Mitchelson, posted on January 31st, 2016.

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