Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Origami Day


Happy Veterans Day.  Fold a peace crane for vets (kami-flaged); and thank them for their service!

November 11th is known commonly as Veterans' Day, Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day around the world, but it has also been designated as Origami Day by the Nippon Origami Association.

Origami is the well-known art of folding paper into desired shapes. According to the NOA, origami first began in Japan around the time paper was introduced from China in the 7th century. It was originally used to help decorate places for religious rituals, but slowly evolved over the centuries into an aesthetic art form with multiple schools of disciple. These days, most consider true origami to be accomplished by using only folds, no cuts or pastes. 

One of the most commonly folded and famous origami shapes is the paper crane. It is recognized, particularly in Japan, as a symbol of hope, peace, and longevity. One popular story depicting this symbolism is that of Sadako Sasaki. She was a young girl who suffered from leukemia caused by the radiation released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb at the end of World War II. The commonly told version of her story goes that she believed if she could fold 1,000 paper cranes she would be granted a wish. However, she passed away before accomplishing the feat. School children around the world still fold paper cranes in her honor.

November 11th was chosen as Origami Day by the NOA because it matched the idea of peace expressed in Armistice Day, the end of World War I in 1918. 11/11 also symbolizes the four sides of a square - the most commonly used starting paper shape for Origami folders.

January 5, 2010

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