Between the Folds: Origami Grandmaster Akira Yoshizawa

Akira Yoshizawa (1911 – 2005)

Origami pushes the limits of what the creative mind and nimble fingers can do when paper is transformed into fascinating shapes, especially three-dimensional representations of plants, animals and abstract sculptures. The video below looks at the evolution of this art form, starting from the pioneering work of Akira Yoshizawa, the father of origami.

Born in 1941, Yoshizawa taught himself origami, and gave up his factory job at the age of 26 to devote his life to paper folding. He invented and perfected the technique of “wet-folding”, which allows moist paper to be folded more easily. He also created a system of symbols, arrows and notations used to diagram origami designs. These were two big reasons why his creations were elevated to the status of art. In 1983, Emperor Hirohito awarded Yoshizawa the title “Knight of the Order of the Rising Sun”, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a Japanese citizen. Yoshizawa died in 2005, but his paper folding legacy clearly lives on.

Video: The Art and Legacy of Akira Yoshizawa

Leave a Reply