Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Origami : Facts and forms

-My first introduction to origami was through children's magazine years ago. I clearly remember that the front cover of that issue was the drawing of a girl and paper swans. The girl in the picture was Sadako, who fell terminally ill after the Hiroshima bombings. According to a legend if you make thousand paper swans, your wish is granted. She started making swans but her wish to remain alive was never fulfilled, she died before she could complete 1000 swans! I still remember this story. Her classmates folded the remaining cranes for her after her death and placed them at the foot of a monument constructed in Sadako's memory in Hiroshima's National Peace Park. The statue depicts Sadako holding a golden crane in her arms. At the base of the statue a plaque reads, "This is our cry, this is our prayer, peace in the world." Each year, on August 6, thousands of origami cranes from all over the world are placed beneath Sadako's statue.
-Origami in Japanese means Paper folding ( oru= fold, kami=paper).
-It's origin is Chinese (not Japanese as popularly believed).

-You can eat origami. I mean dried sheets of seaweed can be folded in to origami models.
-In 1998 a 207 feet giant crane was made in japan.
-"Tea Bag Folding" refers to the folding of tea bag wrappers, not the soggy tea bags themselves.
-In the movie Hannibal, Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal Lector) folds questionnaires in to origami.
-Origami is being promoted as mental health therapy tool, as it conveys the feeling of acceptance when you take time to demonstrate or teach. Though as a therapeutic tool it was first used way back in1914,when an Englishman Charles Gibbs became tutor to the nine year old tsarevich, youngest child of Russian Emperor Nicholas II. The boy was withdrawn and had difficulty communicating, so Gibbs showed him how to make something from a piece of paper. This encouraged him to speak.
- Traditionally, square paper was used for origami, but certain shapes are now made using rectangles and even dollar bills or other currency notes.
- Akira Yoshizawa is considered to be the greatest origami wizard. It was Yoshizawa who introduced the world to the amazing art of origami.
- In Japan a smallest flapping bird competition was organised and A. Naito won it. She folded a flapping bird from paper a mere 2.9mm square. The bird was only about 2mm from beak to tail. Naito placed it on a needle inside a transparent globe. But it was still very difficult to see so a contact lens was fitted to the outside of the globe through which it could be viewed.
- A waistcoat and hat was made from origami units by another origami maestro Maarten van Gelder. The life-sized waistcoat was made of 814 units and it was pretty warm too (paper is an insulator of heat).

1 comment:

  1. Such fascinating information; thank you very much! I am doing an origami project for my Global Cultures class as part of my Bachelor's in Communications. I really appreciate the fun facts you included in this post.

    Best to you and yours,


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