Learning origami the fun way

By Aanya Wipulasena

Origami is a traditional Japanese paper craft. Ori which stands for ‘folding’ in Japanese and Kami for ‘paper’ together makes the word Origami. This art has been handed down from parent to child for many generations. Models like animals, birds, fish, geometric shapes, puppets, toys and masks are made in origami by folding paper.

Begun in the 17th century AD, origami was popularized outside Japan in the mid- 1900s. Ever since it has grown in popularity and evolved into a modern art form.

The Japanese embassy and the Japan Foundation in collaboration with the Origami Folders’ Association of Sri Lanka held an origami workshop and demonstration of Japanese paper folding on January 30 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute auditorium to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka.

The Origami Folders Association of Sri Lanka is the only recognized authority for origami promotion in Sri Lanka. This Association consists of well trained and creative origami folders who are keen to popularise origami as an international hobby throughout Sri Lanka.

The workshop and demonstrations were conducted by origami artist and Director of the Nippon (Japan) Origami Association Toshinori Tanaka and Akiko Yamanashi and Shoko Aoyagi who are member tutors of the Nippon Origami Association. They were sent to Sri Lanka by the Japan Foundation especially for this workshop.

Many origami lovers from across Sri Lanka and tourists attended this workshop. Each participant was handed some coloured papers and books with instructions on how to make an origami creation.

“I came with my five children and we are enjoying the programme very much,” said Siri who is visiting Sri Lanka for the first time from Australia. Her eldest daughter Aelysh said that she and her siblings learnt a lot from the workshop and were going to try it at home.

Students who learn Japanese at schools had come with their teachers to try their hand at origami. “It’s very interesting. We learnt a little about it in our school but learnt more at the workshop. The demonstrations were done well and we loved doing it too,” said Kanishka who had come with his friends.

Those interested in learning origami could contact the Origami Folders Association via email :

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