A Walk Down Origami Lane With YouCo Japan
Ever seen beautiful animals, boxes and ornaments made of beautiful printed and folded paper? I’m sure you have. This is a special art in Japan which is called Origami and it is noting small or ordinary, it is a skill with different schools. Origami is a Japanese word which means paper folding.”Ori” means to fold and “Kami” stands for paper. This art is a gift, or more of a gene which is passed down from one generation to the other, never changing in its true sense although modernizing more and more as innovations are made by creative Japanese minds. This art involves folding paper and making forms out if it, like Animals, puppets, fishes, toys, birds, masks, boxes etc.
Also read: Japan Is The Land of Art – 10th Century B.C till Forever
How did it all begin?
Paper making from pulp began in China in 102 AD. It was then that paper became available frugally to the public. The secret paper recipe was intact in China until it made its way through into Korea and Japan. In fact Japanese religion and paper making share the same birthdays or similar eras to the least, paper became an integral part of the developing Japanese culture. Silk and colored threads were added to make paper more appealing and so began the art of origami.
There was a time in Japan when origami was part of school curriculum but now a days origami is taught at home to children and as small as 6 year old children can make flawless animals by folding paper. If you get the chance to visit any Japanese household during festive seasons, your eyes will feast on the beautiful origami decorations with vibrant colors and beautiful forms that the house is decorated with. In fact many origami forms are symbols, like on Children’s day kids make a colorful origami carp; a fish that swims upstream, as a symbol of strength.
The most famous of all symbols formed as a result of origami id the crane. The crane has become the international symbol of peace and nearly every child in Japan is taught how to make it. The main reason behind the fame of the crane was a story about a girl exposed to radiations as a result of nuclear attack on Japan and how she wanted to spread peace. You can read the beautiful story titled “Sadako and 100 Paper Cranes” for a clearer picture of its origins.
Also read: A stroll in Japan’s little China in Yokohama
So where did Origami begin?
According to European historians, Baptismal certificates, centuries old, were found to have a recognizable crease pattern to them. As the world came closer, trade flourished among nations and people claimed magicians travelled to lands far away and bring back the magic of origami with them. Sounds like a fairytale? Indeed. Let’s go back to the real world; many historians believe Ancient Egyptians are to blame for this beautiful art we absolutely adore now. An ancient map, found in Valley of Kings, now sitting peacefully in a museum in Milan, is more than 2000 years old and shows creases.