Origami - The Art of Folding Paper

Origami is the art of folding paper. While it is often associated with Japanese culture, it is a general term that covers various folding practices. Whether you're looking to create a unique creation or simply enjoy creating something with your hands, there's a form of origami for you.Origins
Origami is an ancient Japanese art that originated thousands of years ago. It is an art form that involves folding paper to create a variety of designs. These simple paper-folding techniques were passed down from generation to generation by the Japanese without the use of writing. Because these methods were mainly oral, the designs were passed down only through simple examples. But since then, origami has grown and evolved to incorporate more complex techniques and principles. Today, it is used to create everything from furniture to architecture, and even robotics.The origin of origami can be traced back to the 6th century, when Buddhist monks brought paper to Japan. At that time, it was a luxury to have paper, and the Japanese began to use it for religious purposes and for decoration. Even Samurai warriors would decorate gifts with folded strips of paper. It was believed that these gifts brought good luck to the receiver. In the fifties, origami saw a resurgence of interest after Japanese paper craftsman Akira Yoshizawa invented origami models and the Yoshizawa-Randlett System.Early forms
Early forms of origami were created as simple, decorative objects for religious ceremonies and for use as gifts. The first examples were made out of paper butterflies, which were referred to as "Mecho" and "Ocho." These are the earliest forms of origami and were made before the paper crane, which became synonymous with the art. Another early form of origami was the paper noshi, which was a folded piece of paper that accompanied a valuable gift.Early forms of origami required cutting the paper to create their shapes, a practice which is no longer practiced in modern origami. While most modern origami involves no cutting or glue, some older texts still call origami that requires cutting paper kirigami. Other forms of origami require cutting and gluing, such as modular and unit origami, which combine more than one sheet of paper to create a complex design. There are also techniques that make it possible to fold curved shapes without gluing or cutting. Some types of origami even include the practice of "wet folding" which enables a softer, more flexible shape.Origins in Japan
The ancient art of paper folding, origami, is a Japanese tradition that originated from the samurai society. It was used as a form of ceremonial paper folding in Shinto rituals. The Edo period (1603-1868) saw the widespread use of origami, and the Japanese began attaching ceremonial paper folds to gifts.Since its early development, origami has evolved into a global art form. Today, many leading artists use origami to express their creativity. They often turn simple geometric shapes into stunning works of art. Children learn the skill at an early age and make paper objects with friends. Among the most famous pieces are cranes and tsurus, which have become symbols of peace and harmony for children around the world.During the Edo period, Japanese monks and religious leaders used to fold paper for ceremonial reasons. After the price of paper dropped, the simple art of origami became more accessible to commoners. During this time, the first books containing instructions for making origami were published. The first of these was Tsutsumi-no-ki, published in 1764. It contained instructions for making 13 ceremonial folding styles and a recreational folding technique of 49 linked cranes.Influence of Akira Yoshizawa
The early 20th century saw the renaissance of origami art thanks to the genius of Akira Yoshizawa. His work sparked a worldwide revolution in paper folding. During his lifetime, Yoshizawa created more than 500 pieces of origami, including the famous crane. He also pioneered wetfolding, an important technique used to create beautiful shapes out of paper.Yoshizawa was born in Kaminokawa, Japan, and grew up in a dairy farm. He learned the art of folding paper at a young age and used it to help him study geometry and physics. As an adult, he moved to Tokyo, where he earned a high-level position in the industry. While in Tokyo, he taught students how to fold paper using geometrical principles.Contemporary applications
Modern engineers are using the art of origami to develop more efficient materials. The ability to fold and flex paper can be translated to the creation of solar panels, batteries and pills. Some companies even use origami designs in their advertising and clothing. The enduring appeal of the craft has made it popular in the world of business and education.Other applications of origami include biomedical devices. Studies by Taylor et al. have used origami principles to fabricate implantable biomedical devices.

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