The Origami Center




fold object (3) traditional
enjoy entrance in front of
ritual root (2) express (2)
facet space (2) model (3)
lotus facility 3-D (three-dimensional)
unique heart (2) neighborhood
helmet story (2) stand/stood/stood (2)
spread space (2) exhibition
sheet kimono make/made/made
glory windmill morning-glory
world realistic by no means
glossy dedicate know/knew/known
shape countless practically (2)
wing etiquette grown-up
wide develop functional
iris (2) pastime square (3)
paste pattern sell/sold/sold
refer pattern stationary (2)
toy elderly indication
vast scissors shelf/shelves
range complex all sorts of
matte crane (2) extremely
form intricate around (3)
item technique incorporate
limit creation sophistication
depict sculpture fall/fell/fallen
piece combine appear (2)
motif various millimeter
pot (2) as tall as close/closer/closest
tiny a part of graduation
side alternative


Video (First 5:00 minutes)




Origami, the traditional Japanese art of creating objects by folding paper. From children to the elderly, origami is enjoyed by people of all ages.

With roots and religious rituals and social etiquette, it expresses many facets of Japanese culture. Origami techniques have even been used in space. And recently an alternative to 3-D printing that uses origami has been developed.

This time on Japanololgy Plus, our theme is origami. We’ll see why the art of folding paper has long had such a special place in Japanese hearts.

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Hello and welcome to Japanalogy Plus. I’m Peter Barakan. Today I’m in the neighborhood of Yushima which is in central Tokyo in an area that has a lot of schools and colleges and cultural facilities.

And I’m standing in front of a place called the Origami Center; it’s a six story building that has exhibition spaces classrooms and as you can see a little shop here in the entrance.

This kimono here is made entirely of paper, although that’s not origami I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single sheet of paper big enough to fold something like that.

But these little paper windmills down here, and these morning-glories here are all made using origami technique.

Now of course Japan is by no means the only country in the world where people make things out of paper. But the fact that the word origami is so well known around the world it’s an indication of how famous is paper folding art has become.

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A classic pastime that practically everyone in Japan has enjoyed at some point, origami is the art of folding paper into countless different shapes: a crane with wings spread wide, a frog in the water, flowers like the iris and the lotus. Even a samurai helmet.

In origami, all these items and more are made without scissors or paste just single sheets of paper folded in various ways to create three-dimensional objects.

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Paper for origami is usually square and colored. The paper itself is also referred to as origami. origami paper is widely sold in Japanese stationery and toy shops, in a vast range of patterns from traditional motifs to modern Western ones with matte or glossy finishes.

Book shops have whole shelves dedicated to books about origami. These teach you how to make all sorts of forms, from the very simple to the extremely complex.

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Origami is popular among children of course; but plenty of grown-ups enjoy it as well. From intricate patterns incorporating paper cranes two items that combine various colored sheets of paper, to highly realistic models of animals.

There’s no limit to the sophistication of origami creations. Some origami works are as good as sculptures like this one depicting a falling cat

Here’s another unique piece it appears to be a potted tree about as tall as a person but take a closer look it’s flowers a tiny origami cranes, each one is just eight millimeters tall. More than 10,000 cranes were folded from squares of paper eighteen millimeters on a side to create this piece which is called crane tree.

It was the art school graduation project of Nokia Onagawa it took him four months during which he folded cranes for ten hours a day.

Origami can be used to make items that are functional as well as beautiful but either way it’s long been part of everyday life in Japan.

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Origami. Origami is an art that consists of painting on paper. True or false?

Drawing. Has origami always been purely for aesthetic purposes? Has origami only served as decorations. What can you say about it’s past and future?

Painting. Origami is simply a hobby or pastime activity in Japan. Is this right or wrong?

Ceramics. Do origami works consist only of simple items like cranes and hats?

Sculpture. Paper for origami comes in only basic, solid colors: beige, black, blue, brown, gray, green, pink, orange, purple, red, violet, white, yellow. Is this correct or incorrect?

Bronze Casting. People can only learn how to do origami from origami classes. Do you agree?

Wood Carving. Is origami only for children? Do only children do paper-folding?
Papier-Mache. I have seen origami figurines. Yes or no?

Stained Glass. Have you or your friends made origami figurines or objects?

Marble Statues. Could origami be a business, as objects and works for sale or classes for children and hobbyists?

Carpets and Rugs. What might happen in the future?

Computer Graphic Art. Could origami be a hobby or pastime for children, senior citizens and adults?

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