Monday, November 19, 2012

Origami in Everyday Lives of Japan

Wherever I went out and about in Japan, I noticed that origami was folded into people's everyday lives, literally.  And whenever I found origami decorations in public, I took photos.  Here are some of the photos I took.

At Narita Station
Welcome to Japan poster made with origami

At a hotspring resort.
Halloween decorations that guests participated to make.

At a bookstore.
Featured books were decorated with origami.

In front of a flower shop.
A sign for tulip bulbs makes you want to buy them.

On a street.
I found a ninja star someone had left behind.

In a display case at Hiroshima Castle.
Origami samurai hats were made by children in Hiroshima.

A poster in front of a souvenir shop in Hiroshima.
Hello Kitty riding a paper crane, cuuuute!

Last but not least, at a fruit stand.
It's a tangerine orange stand that my parents have.
Of course I'm the one who made the decorations.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Origami Kaikan

Recently I had a trip to my home country, Japan.  Aside from visiting my family and friends, my mission was to get inspirations for my origami work, as well as to stack up on paper materials.

My first stop, Origami Kaikan in Ochanomizu, Tokyo was just the right place for what I was looking to do.  Absolutely the lovely place it was.  I wish I lived closer!  I will definitely go back and visit there again.

Store front of Origami Kaikan
Since its first establishment in 1858 as a Japanese paper (washi) dyeing factory, Origami Kaikan has developed into a mecca for origami crafters.  The facility houses everything from origami exhibit space to paper shop, classrooms and washi dyeing factory.  Displayed artworks have emphasis on renzuru (multiple paper cranes made out of one sheet of paper) and flowers.  Some of them are renzuru made to look like flowers.

Christmas tree display at their store front

Garlands of paper cranes made to look like wisteria

Renzuru in a shadow box frame

They offer a wide variety of origami classes, though I didn't have time to take one at this time.  Maybe next time.  The photos below are samples from the classes that they offer.

2013 animal zodiac (snake) workshop
Washi bonsai workshop
Christmas tree workshop
As for the origami shop, they have the largest selection of origami paper I have ever seen!  They had a wide variety of not only origami packs, but also single sheets of chiyogami and washi in different sizes, tools, kits, and origami instruction books.  I wish I had more specific origami projects that I am working on; this place would have everything that I would need.

This is just one section of the store where they have large paper
They sell many complete kits such as this chrysanthemum making kit
I visited another floor of Origami Kaikan where they dye paper and visitors can watch it.  Not only I got to see the paper being dyed, I got to meet the chairman of Origami Kaikan and a renown origami artist, Mr. Kazuo Kobayashi.  I regret that I didn't take a photo of him, though.

Brushes used to dye paper
Huge stack of washi
Origami Kaikan's website can be found here.  Most of it is in Japanese, but you can read the general info in English from here.  All the photos are taken and uploaded to my blog with a permission from Origami Kaikan.