KIDS AND THE JAPANESE CULTURE. FIRST GRADERS MAKING ORIGAMI.

  • 2018-02-19
  • 09:15 - 10:00
KIDS AND THE JAPANESE CULTURE. FIRST GRADERS MAKING ORIGAMI.

On February 19th 2018 Ms. Beata Radzikowska (our interior designer and art admirer) has  hosted a very creative yet demanding origami class.

 

Origami is the art of paper folding known in Japan for centuries. Almost every Japanese can create a fantastic world of animals, other creatures or items out of a piece of paper which under skillful fingertips revives taking realistic shapes. Imagination and knowledge of paper folding are crucial in transformation of a piece of paper into given forms. Folding paper along straight lines in different directions constitutes the main rule of origami. Surfaces created this way are symmetrically aligned together.

 

Paper folding technique has been developed in the 7th century when Japan was isolated from rest of the world and Shinto was a national religion. This is when Japan established trade with China and began to import paper.

 

Paper imported to Japan from China was very expensive since only the Chinese knew how to make handmade paper at that time. In Japan paper was associated with god as KAMI in Japanese means god. KAMI also means paper [these words have the same sound but are written using two different characters]. In both cases the sound is same, so paper and god constitute unity. The Japanese decorated [depictions of] their gods in paper symbols representing gods. This is when the art of origami, perceived as a pure art having magical meaning, came into being. This tradition is still alive today. The Japanese present paper offerings to their gods while asking for good health and good luck for themselves and their loved ones.

According to historical records paper was used to create various forms and shapes as early as in the 9th century. For example, girls played with toy-frogs made of paper. As such an element of fun and play began to be associated with origami.

At the turn of the 17th and 18th century, the Japanese have developed their own method of making paper, called “washi” and began to produce it in large quantities. Gradually, paper became cheaper and more accessible. At this point origami flourished not only as an art of offered to god but also as an art of a secular character having more practical use associated with pleasure and fun.

During origami class first graders created nice and exceptional animal made of paper: a chameleon.