Origami Workshop for KSGG Members: Making Origami Rabbits

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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 and staff: Eight Origami Team members of Introduction to Japanese Culture Group in KSGG

Report by Masako

KSGG members at the workshopThe first origami (paper-folding) workshop** for KSGG members of the 2022 fiscal year was held last October after a long interval, for this activity had been postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic. The second origami workshop for KSGG members of the 2022 fiscal year since then was held on March 7. As 2023 is the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac, every participant made two origami rabbits. Because I wanted to make origami rabbits for myself and my foreign acquaintances, and I wanted to teach foreigners how to make an origami rabbit, I decided to take part in this workshop.

Nine KSGG members who wanted to learn how to make origami rabbits and some origami instructors of Origami Team were divided into three groups. Each group consisted of four persons, with one or two origami instructors and two or three KSGG members who wanted to learn how to make origami rabbits. From 2:00 p.m. to around 3:00 p.m., each one made origami rabbits; later, all 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. Since origami is the art of folding a sheet of square paper, the finished depends on “folding”: You fold a sheet of square paper not only to form an origami rabbit but also to make a sharp crease; the size of the face of an origami rabbit depends on how you fold a sheet of paper. In the process of making an origami rabbit, you can use a bamboo skewer or a bamboo spatula to make a sharp crease; a pair of scissors are also used to make a cut in an 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 at school. After this trial, finally, we made an origami rabbit with thick washi (traditional Japanese paper). Chatting with each other, we made origami rabbits. We learned from the origami instructor that making a sharp crease 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 a year for about ten years. 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.