The Art of Folding Paper – Origami (折り紙)


Origami (折り紙) is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. Paper folding had ceremonial functions during the Edo period and has since turned into a recreational hobby throughout Japan.

The goal of Origami is to create a 3D sculpture from a single square piece of paper only by folding. Using glue and cuts is forbidden in classical Origami. People who use those tools anyways are not considered true Origami artists. That practice is referred to as Kirigami (切り紙) by traditional Origami artists and contains the words “kiru” for cut and “kami” for paper.

The most famous Origami motive is probably the paper crane, a symbol of long life and prosperity in Japanese culture. There is an ancient legend that promises to grant you one wish if you fold 1 000 paper cranes. Cranes are mythical creatures in Japan and are said to live for a thousand years. Therefore, you have to fold a crane for every single one of those 1 000 years.

Origami is an important part of Japanese culture. There are countless books and websites to get into this hobby. It’s a lot of fun; try it yourself!

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