I’ve always had a fascination with the delicate and intricate art of Origami, and the sheer level of dedication necessary to learning how to become great at it. I’ve barely had the patience and coordination to complete even the most basic folds without making it look like it went through a mangler from the sheer number of folds it took for me to get it nearly right.
Imagine my embarrassment when, in my research to get better, I found the Japanese children practice Origami as part of a normal education and can create some of the most beautiful and intricate pieces I’ve seen. But Origami, while a Japanese word in origin, doesn’t just exist in Japan. The word merely means ‘Paper Folding’, and that is an art form practiced in many cultures across the world.
Origami Day is originally a Japanese Holiday, and was established to celebrate an art form first established in the 6th century in a religious capacity, though by the year 1700 it had become an intrinsic part of the culture on every level.
Origins of Origami and its worldwide presence
There are actually two basic forms of Origami: the standard Origami that prohibits the use of any cutting implements or other tools, and Kirigami, a lesser known art-style that centers on the cutting of paper and gluing it together into intricate patterns.
As I mentioned earlier, there are forms of Origami that are not Japanese in origin, ones that many of you may have come across without even realizing it. Ever seen a folded napkin? This was a form of origami that originated in Europe and became hugely popular and a sign of a distinguished host.
Throughout the world different forms and traditions of paper folding came together, blended, and split. Modern Origami actually is a combination of German and European traditions come together with Japanese history to create dozens of new styles.
I make a point of trying to master a new simple origami pattern every Origami day, this year I’m tackling a Kawaski Cube. What will you do?