The History of Origami

By , January 31, 2009 3:12 pm

The first paper making technique came to Japan from China in 7th century.

The Japanese developed another processing method using different materials. They created “Washi” which is a high quality Japanese paper. This paper is resilient and soft, and does not tear when handled.

Around the 10th century, paper was used for wrapping items or letters. It became fashionable to decorate letters and gifts with artfully folded paper.

A well-regulated lifestyle came with the advent of the samurai society, which gave rise to the art of paper folding for practical and formal purposes. It was also used in religious ceremonies.

Today, a vestige of its former use can still be seen in the “noshi”, a decoration of folded red and white paper attached to a gift.

Origami Fish

Origami Fish Earrings at

Origami was made to assume concrete shapes like cranes or boats. This is regarded as origami for pure enjoyment and called “play origami”.

In the Edo period (1600-1868), mass-produced, low-priced paper first became available. It quickly grew in popularity among all the people, not just the elite class. People enjoyed “play origami ” as decorative elements or toys.

In 1797, the oldest Origami book in the world “Senbazuruorikata” was published by Tamehachi Yoshinoya, and introduced the way to fold 49 kinds of continued Origami without cutting a sheet of paper. In 1845, the book “Kayarasou” was published. This era produced many Origami creators.

During the Genroku era (1688-1704), it became fashionable to use origami cranes and several varieties of boats as designs on clothing. Boat and crane origami were also reproduced with great frequency in Ukiyoe prints. Origami rapidly came to have a wide following during this period.

During the Meiji period (1868-1912), origami was used as a teaching tool in the kindergarten and elementary school levels. Not only are there now many imaginative and novel origami creations, but its educational worth and immense potential have been reconsidered and recognized.


Shop for Origami Fish, Crane and Cube Earrings at

Go to Free Origami Projects at

Read about The Thousand Origami Cranes (Senbazuru)

The Original article on

Kimono, traditional dress of Japan

By , January 29, 2009 1:28 pm

The Kimono is the Japanese traditional garment.

Originally the word “kimono” referred to all types of clothing, but it has come to mean specifically the full-length traditional garments.

Today, kimonos are most often worn by women, and on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear kimonos on a daily basis. Kimono is worn most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions.

Types of Kimono

TomesodeIlllustration by Little-Akiko - @ 2008-2009 all rights reserved

Tomesode is the first formal dress for married woman.

There are 5 family crest prints on black cloth and a design on the bottom of kimono.The Mother or a family member of the bride and groom at a wedding ceremony wears this kimono. Usually gold colored obi and other accessories are used for this kimono.





FurisodeIlllustration by Little-Akiko - @ 2008-2009 all rights reserved

Furisode is the first formal dress for unmarried woman.

This kimono has dazzling color, gorgeous design and long arms.Furisode is worn at a coming-of-age ceremony, a graduation ceremony, wedding party, formal party and an arranged marriage meeting, etc.





HoumongiIlllustration by Little-Akiko - @ 2008-2009 all rights reserved

Houmongi is the informal dress for woman.

These days, Houmongi is the most popular kimono in Japan.Houmongi is the 2nd formal dress after Tomesode for Mrs and Furisode for Miss. Houmongi is worn at a wedding party, tea ceremony and an entrance, or a graduation ceremony, etc.





TukesageIlllustration by Little-Akiko - @ 2008-2009 all rights reserved

Tukesage is the informal dress for woman.

This kimono’s designs are all facing up. This is a little more casual than Houmongi.Tukesage is worn at a party, tea ceremony and going out etc.





KomonIlllustration by Little-Akiko - @ 2008-2009 all rights reserved

Komon is the normal dress for woman.

There are small patterns everywhere in the kimono. Komon is worn at a house party, lesson, date and theatregoing etc. Komon is a very convenient kimono to do a little going out for the person that it wants to try out a kimono.





IromujiIlllustration by Little-Akiko - @ 2008-2009 all rights reserved

Iromuji is the kimono that has only one color but black.

This kimono is able to be worn any situation. If you print one family crest on this kimono, it becomes formal wear.





MofukuIlllustration by Little-Akiko - @ 2008-2009 all rights reserved

Mofuku is the formal wear to a funeral.

This kimono is all black and has 5 family crest prints.The accessories have to be all black except juban (an underwear) and tabi (socks).Mofuku is only worn to the funeral of a close relative or friend.





YukataIlllustration by Little-Akiko - @ 2008-2009 all rights reserved

Yukata is summer dress.

This kimono is worn without juban (underwear).Yukata is a cooling garment to wear. It is made with straight seams and wide sleeves. Unlike formal kimono, yukata are typically made of cotton rather than silk or synthetic fabric, and they are unlined.





JinbeiIlllustration by Little-Akiko - @ 2008-2009 all rights reserved

Jinbei is a kind of traditional Japanese clothing worn during the summer.

Jinbei sets consist of a top and matching shorts.





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