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Japanese Traditional Crafts|ORIGAMI

Japanese Origami Paper

Origami is one of the traditional handicrafts that are widely popular among the general public.

Origami is a handicraft that requires no tools, skills, or space, and can be played with whenever the mood strikes.

In this article, we will explain the history of origami and how it is actually folded.

Origami|from generation to generation

For Japanese people, origami is something they are very familiar with, used for play at home and in preschools or kindergartens.

First, I’ll summarize the basics of origami, from its history to the different types of folding techniques.

A History of Origami

In the early 7th century, paper manufacturing methods were introduced to Japan from mainland China, and Japanese people’s ingenuity gave birth to washi, a thin and durable paper.

Washi was an important item for sutra copying and record keeping, but eventually “ceremonial origami” was created to accompany gifts and other items, and “playful origami” was created for the purpose of playing.

A kind of Origami Paper

Origami can be made on basically any paper.

The most used shape is the square, but there are also origami papers folded in other shapes such as rectangles and triangles.

The most famous origami pattern is chiyogami.

Chiyogami is paper printed with traditional Japanese patterns such as hemp leaves and deer.

Some people may associate chiyogami with origami cranes, as it is the paper often used to fold origami cranes.


Folding Types

Origami has several fixed ways of folding.

Fusetsu Seihokei Ichimai ori | One square paper type

It’s read, “Fusetsu (No cutting) Seihokei (Square) Ichimai (one piece of paper) ori (fold).

This is a folding method using only one square sheet of paper, without using scissors.

This is the basic type of origami, and some people prefer it.

Fukugo-ori |Compound type

A folding method that first folds several parts separately and finally combines them into a single piece. A traditional example is the combination of “yakko-san” and “hakama”.

By joining separately folded parts together, it is relatively easy to create complex shapes without cutting into the paper.

In some cases, glue or staples are used to join the parts together.

Kirikomi Ori | Add notching type

This is a folding method that makes it easier to fold complicated shapes by making cuts in the paper to increase the number of corners or by cutting out a portion of the paper. Some origami enthusiasts have negative opinions about this method because it is not a straightforward method, such as using scissors.

Shikake Ori | Trick type

A toy that can be moved. There are old examples such as “camera” (the shutter opens) and “flapping bird” (you can move its wings by holding its neck and tail).

These are popular for playing with children because they attract their interest.

Advantages of Origami

There are many advantages to playing with origami.

Here are just a few examples


Can be done anywhere

Easy to take with you when you go out


Costs very little

The only cost is for paper


Can be played by both men and women

Physical differences are not a handicap


No need for scissors, staples, or glue

No need to use extra items


Encourages conversation with parents, children and grandchildren

Helps develop imagination


There are countless variations of how to fold

You can discover new things to fold, depending on your ideas

Classic Origami Folds

Crane is the most famous origami among all the origami.

This is because Japan has a tradition called “Senbazuru,” which means “a thousand cranes made of origami. This is said to have become Senbazuru as a lucky number from the phrase “a crane is a thousand years.” It is said that classmates, friends, and acquaintances fold origami cranes and give them to patients who are hospitalized for illness, etc., as a message to pray for their health recovery.

Armor worn on the head in battle. In Japan, helmets first appeared in the Kofun period.

The helmets worn by those in command in particular were unique to each army, and some of their designs are still talked about today.

The original function of the helmet was to protect the head, of course, but warlords attached unique tatemono (ornaments) to their helmets in order to stand out on the battlefield and show their dignity and status by wearing a glittering helmet.

When I was a child, I used to fold letters between friends in this slightly unusual way.

When I folded them this way, my parents couldn’t see them…. My parents could not read it secretly because they could not re-fold it (since they did not know how to fold it).

There are many simple and cute shapes like this. The “balloon” is a simple and cute shape that can be folded in a very simple way.

This is a type of origami that can be folded and played with, rather than folded and displayed.

Like a balloon, it can be blown up by blowing into it, so you can play with it by bouncing it with your hand or throwing it.

Children may be pleased if you use a large piece of paper to make it.

This is one of the trick folds as well. When you hold down the bottom part, it bounces like a frog. It is made of paper, so it is safe for babies to hold.

You can make several and have a race with your friends.

Shuriken origami is also popular.

You can actually throw them or combine different colors to make colorful shurikens.

The shapes are also interesting and can be used for art and other purposes.


There are many more origami videos on YouTube.

The ideas are varied.

Please enjoy crafts using your favorite patterns and papers.


Origami is an excellent handicraft that is low in cost and can be played with by children and adults alike.

We hope that this article will help spread the joy of origami to more families with children who are just learning to play with their hands, as well as to relatives’ gatherings and classrooms.

We have a wonderful seller who creates beautiful origami earrings.

Please check out our online store below.