extra scraps of paper so that they could make origami figures. By
Name 1797, one author decided to publish the first official book about
origami. It was called How to Fold 1,000 Cranes. The Japanese
people loved making cranes because cranes were sacred. These birds
symbolize loyalty, too, because they mate for life. One Japanese
Origami woodblock print showed birds being created out of paper, which
shows how important origami had become to the people of Japan.
By Colleen Messina Another excellent book came out in 1845 that contained instructions
for 150 projects. If Japan had had a best-seller list, this book would
If your friend gave you have probably been at the top!
1,000 cranes, what would you
think? You might worry that Origami became a well-known form of recreation in Japan. It also
they wouldn't all fit in your spread to the West between 800 and 1,100 A.D. Many people took
bedroom. Or that the noise up this form of art. People who have learned how to make many
would bother your neighbors. complex figures are called master paper folders. A man named Akira
Or that your mother would Yoshizawa is called the "father of modern origami" because he
make you clean up after all of developed standard terms that are used in written instructions for
them! But, if your friend was origami projects. He published a book of new models in the early
Japanese, you could breathe a 1950s. He created bold, new figures. People especially liked his
sigh of relief. You would figure of a frog. Children like to make this design today.
probably receive a gift of
folded paper cranes. Origami is still popular because it does not require special tools.
According to Japanese tradition, if a person folded 1,000 origami You need your hands, a piece of paper, and a flat surface. Brightly
cranes, his or her greatest wish would come true. colored origami paper is available in many shapes and sizes. Unusual
kinds of paper can also be used for origami. Dollar bills create
Origami involves only one simple material: paper. The artist folds "money origami." Another entertaining kind of origami is when the
it into amazing shapes. Ts'ai Lun of China invented paper in about artist uses real food. This fragrant art is called "edible origami."
105 A. D. Historians believe that paper folding started soon after that. Artists use thin sheets of seaweed, vegetables, pastry, and fruit.
The first paper was made from tree bark and rags. Later, paper was
made from bamboo. Since mothers passed the knowledge of origami Perhaps the weirdest type of origami is "toilet paper origami."
to their daughters by word of mouth, no one knows the details of its Sometimes in fancy hotels, the staff folds the first sheet of the toilet
history. paper roll into a triangle. This means that they have finished cleaning
the room. One man found this fascinating. He spent three years
Origami came to Japan in the sixth century. Ori is the Japanese taking photographs of folded toilet papers in hotels in many
word for folding. Kami is the Japanese word for paper. Paper was countries. He visited Spain, Italy, Romania, Germany, Russia, and
only available to wealthy people. Only the rich could do paper Japan. He called his book Anonymous Origami. After all, no one
folding at first. Samurai warriors used origami to make a gift called a wanted to admit that his or her art uses toilet paper.
noshi. A noshi was a piece of paper folded with a strip of dried meat
or fish. Noshi was considered a gift that brought good luck. The Today, many master paper folders practice their art all over the
Samurai also used origami to make gifts for weddings. They folded world. They can create intricate, unique creatures. But the crane is
paper into the shape of a butterfly. Then, they wrapped it around a still a favorite origami figure. Perhaps origami is why the crane has
glass of rice wine. Origami was used at births, weddings, and become an international symbol for peace. So if someone makes you
funerals. The delicate figures were cherished for many years. 1,000 paper cranes, simply smile and believe that your fondest wish
will come true.
Later, craftsmen invented new methods of making paper. Even
common people had paper. They enjoyed origami. They saved their
7. What does the word anonymous mean?
Name A. autographed
8. What kind of origami might you find in a fancy hotel?
Questions A. edible
1. Which kind of bird is a sacred symbol in Japan? C. toilet paper
D. none of the above
D. chicken Paper was an important invention. Imagine that all the paper in your
school suddenly evaporated. How would this change your day?
2. How many origami cranes can grant someone a wish? Describe your favorite class and how the day would go if you did not
A. 100 have any paper.
3. Where did origami originate?
4. Noshi is a piece of paper folded around what object?
5. Origami is done on a flat surface.
6. Why does a crane symbolize loyalty in Japanese culture?
A. because they mate for life
B. because they are white
C. because they can easily perch on a wedding cake
D. because they are stupid
Have you ever created an origami figure? If so, describe what you
made. Did you think it was easy to do? Why, or why not?