Date & Time: Tuesday, March 7, 2:00 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.
Place: Kanafan Station* at Kanagawa Kenmin Center
Participants: Nine KSGG members
Origami instructors: Eight Origami Team members of Introduction to Japanese Culture Group in KSGG
Report by Masako
Origami (paper-folding) workshop** for KSGG members was held last October after a long interval, for this activity had been forced to be postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic. The second origami workshop for KSGG members since then was held on March 7. As 2023 is the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac, in this workshop, every participant made two origami rabbits. Because I wanted to make origami rabbits for myself and for my foreign acquaintances, and I wanted to teach those from foreign countries how to make an origami rabbit, I decided to take part in this workshop.
Nine KSGG members and some origami instructors of Origami Team were divided into three groups. Each group consists of four persons, with one or two origami instructors and two or three KSGG members who would like to learn how to make an origami rabbit. From 2:00 p.m. to around 3:00 p.m., every one of us made origami rabbits; later, we gathered and took some group photos as a memory of this day, with origami rabbits on the palm of each hand.
Most Japanese including me have made origami at least once in his or her life. This time, however, I had a chance to know more about what origami is. As origami is the art of folding a sheet of square paper, “fold” or “folding” is a key word: “Folding” is sometimes done just to make a sharp crease; the size of the face of origami rabbits depends on how you “fold” a sheet of paper; as “folding” has an influence on the finished origami rabbit, you can use a bamboo skewer or a bamboo spatula to make a sharp crease. Regarding the tools, scissors are also used to make a cut in the origami rabbit.
Before this workshop was held, the origami instructor of my group had prepared a finished origami rabbit and the sample patterns of an origami rabbit-making process. Taking a look at the sample patterns and listening to the explanations by the origami instructor, the other two KSGG members and I made an origami rabbit step by step. In order to learn making an origami rabbit, first we used a sheet of origami paper for education. After this trial, finally, we made an origami rabbit with a thick washi (traditional Japanese paper). Chatting with each other, we made origami rabbits step by step. We learned from the origami instructor that making a sharp crease at first is a knack of making a beautiful finished origami rabbit. I had a good and precious time in this one-hour workshop.
It is difficult to learn by heart all the process of folding one sheet of square paper into a finished rabbit. Practice makes perfect. Yet I found it very interesting to make origami. I want to make other origami models. I again realized that origami must be an attractive paper craft to people all over the world.
* Kanafan Station: This is a room on the 2nd floor of Kanagawa Kenmin Center. It can be used by foreign students studying in Japan and the group members who support them.
** Origami Team in KSGG Introduction to Japanese Culture Group started an origami workshop once in a year about ten years ago. The senior members of this Origami Team taught origami to their junior members so that they can teach origami to the other KSGG members and foreigners. The technique of origami has been succeeded in the team as just described.