Monday, April 27, 2015

Bunka-Sai Sunday

This is an annual event in Torrance, CA.  Hisako and Yami helped out on Saturday.  I came Sunday to help out Pam Miike since she helped me at my Cherry Blossom Festival last Saturday.

I taught polypopagons, using my pre-scored cards.

Photos here.

Origami Games

Kinokuniya bookstore in Little Tokyo, LA- an advertisement for Joel Stern's book

Ilan Garibi has put together a collection of origami contest/games, commonly seen at origami conventions around the world. 

It got me to thinking about different ways in which to have origami games, in general (Not just amongst expert paperfolders).

One of the things I've been doing for the past several years at the Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival is the "Quick Fold" contest

Typically, Yami would end our onstage demonstration by teaching a highly complex piece of origami to the audience- his simple banger.  I'd then host a quick draw contest, complete with showdown music (Sergio Leone's spaghetti western sounds) and origami cowboy hats; followed by Samurai music (Abarenbo Shogun and Hissatsu Shigotonin) and various Samurai hats for contestants to wear. 

Dueling folders stand on opposite ends of the stage and on the count of 3, pick up a fresh sheet of paper and start folding a banger.  First one to successfully fold and make their model snap wins a prize (I usually give a prize to both participants).  I've yet to see anyone simplify a banger after understanding the concept of what creates the sound (they assume they need to fold the exact model they were just taught; and that they should fold it neatly). 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

2015 Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival

This was from last weekend. 

Excerpt from Saturday's 40 minute stage demo:

Joseph Wu's Usagi Yojimbo:

This kid Reilly had some of the most delightful reactions and facial expressions while playing with the polypopagon.  All 3 kids were pretty funny with the model hitting themselves in the face:

There was a new magician (not on the schedule) who performed on Sunday.  A 17 year-old kid, I think he was the nephew of one of the puppeteers.  I happened to film part of his magic crane act after I heard him make mention of one of the 3 pictures on cards he had for a volunteer to choose from, was that of a paper crane.  I guessed that the tsuru would be the forced card and anticipated what he was about to do in time to film it:

Another paper mischief from him here.

Allen and Wayne are the regular magicians who come annually.  Wayne plugged origami in his dollar bill transformation trick:

Allen thought his performance was on Sunday (it was supposed to be on Saturday) and closed out the Sunday indoor stage shows.  So we had 3 magicians in one day!

Marti Reis came out to help me on Saturday; and on Sunday, I had Pam Miike.  Slow traffic, but still had fun. 

Photos here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Help raise money for origami books and paper for children's hospitals

Sent by John Scully on the Origami-L:

Ohio Paper Folders has launched a gofundme campaign to raise money to
provide origami books and paper to children's hospitals all over North
America.  Each hospital will receive twenty-five each of four different 44
page 6x9 inch full color origami books and 100 50-sheet packages of origami
paper, so kids do not just get to just use an origami book, but take one
home with them.

The more we raise, the lower the unit cost will be, because we will be able
to place orders directly with the manufacturers in Asia for 20,000 to 30,000
packages of paper, plus of course the printing costs go WAY down per book
when we are talking about 5,000 of each book instead of just a few hundred.

But - even if we only raise five thousand Dollars we can still supply ten
At ten thousand we can supply twenty.
At fifteen thousand, our unit costs start to drop and we can supply forty
hospitals, at twenty-eight thousand we can supply one hundred, and at
forty-one thousand almost two hundred hospitals.  That is more than enough
to do all 190 children's hospitals in the country!

Now - what do you get in return, other than the great feeling from spreading
the joy of origami?  We thought about that for a long time before we came up
with something of real value to the donors that does not use up the funds we
are raising.  Well, since we sell origami paper at, we can give you discounts on future purchases of
paper - up to a 35% discount for life at the higher donation levels.

Please support our project by making a donation, and please share this out
to others!

To make a donation or for more information, please visit

Monday, April 13, 2015

Courier covering Descanso Gardens Cherry Blossom Festival

Tiffany Yip/Courier Origamist Yami Yamauchi demonstrates origami making to visitors at Descanso Gardens during the Cherry Blossom Festival on March 22, 2015.
A brief mention in the lifestyle section of the Pasadena City College Courier, covering last month's event at Descanso Gardens:

Across from the Camellia Lounge was origami folding with Yami Yamauchi. Seated in front of the traditional Japanese farmhouse building, Yami, along with two other origami masters, taught children and adults several paper folding techniques.

“It’s always fun and challenging to teach large numbers, regardless of age,” said Michael Sanders, one of the origami masters that worked alongside Yamauchi. “I enjoy entertaining and folding for people as much as I do teaching it.”

Friday, April 10, 2015


Photo:  Tina Hovsepian


The architect is the inventor of Cardborigami -- the collapsable, transportable and origami-inspired personal shelter she started inventing as a University of Southern California student in 2007. What started as Hovsepian's academic assignment has become a feasible way to alleviate homelessness in her hometown of Los Angeles.

Hovsepian -- who is currently raising funds to expand her product onto the streets of L.A. -- was honored at a Women in the World event on March 18 for the design, and was awarded the Toyota Driving Solutions grant of $50,000 to further her work helping the homeless.
As she explained at the event, Hovsepian was moved to advocate for those in need after studying abroad in Cambodia, where her program helped redesign an impoverished school.
"It was... the first time witnessing firsthand third world poverty, and it got me really thinking about how privileged I am to be able to live in America, in Los Angeles, have an education, have supportive... people around me," she said in a video produced by Women In The World, noting homelessness on Skid Row "is worse than [in] any third world country," because the U.S. has the resources to do something about it.
To support Cardborigami, click here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

March 5th Sunday and April 1st Sunday Meetings

Been slacking.

This post covers Carol Stevens' 5th Sunday meeting; and Marti's 1st Sunday.

Even though I never saw John Andrisan do a lot of new folding at meetings (it seemed like he mostly came for the company; and for any opportunity to teach the laFosse F14 Tomcat), it felt strange for him not to be at either of these meetings.  He was always there.

Yami revived Kenneth Kawamura's butterfly ball.



Videos and photos here: