Origami paper is used in the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. In fact, the word itself is made up of two words, “ori” which is to fold and “kami” meaning paper.
Paper was first said to have been introduced into Japan by Buddhist monks around the 6th century. During this time the cost of paper was very expensive and was more a novelty to have than part of an everyday hobby. It was therefore only the wealthiest Samurai and Noblemen who had the unique opportunity to enjoy origami and often used the folded paper to accompany gifts.
Years later, once the cost of paper went down, paper folding became more popular amongst people of all backgrounds and is now familiar to people all around the world.
Origami creations include fans, cranes, boats, dolls and boxes. The paper comes in a number of elaborate patterns and styles as well as plainer options. If you are new to origami paper, here are some easy instructions on how to fold the perfect Japanese hand fan.
Japanese Hand Fan
To begin your fan, you will need a single sheet of origami paper in a shade of your choice. Fold about 1 cm of the paper up from the bottom and then turn your paper over and do the same on the other side. Continue doing this until you’ve reached the end of your sheet of paper then make a fold on one of the ends to create a handle. You can then open up the paper and enjoy your very own handmade oriental fan.
The Japanese fan, also known as the Sensu, is symbolic of Japanese culture and can be given as a gift or used on a hot day. Once you have perfected your folding techniques you can then go on to try more challenging creations such as the infamous Jumping Frog – click here to watch the instructional video on our website.
When choosing origami for your project, make sure that you have the correct size, colours and thickness. The paper can also be used for gift wrapping or to create other things like bookmarks or napkins.
We have a wide selection of origami paper at The Japanese Shop in range of plain and colourful patterned designs. Our authentic Japanese fans also make the perfect gift with a free gift wrapping service on all orders!