'Origami' literally translates as 'folding paper' (ori means folding, and kami means paper).
Origami is the art of paper folding. It is a Japanese tradition! Take just a simple flat sheet of paper, and you can transform it into a mini creature or object - there are so many possibilities!
Origami is used in different ways throughout the year to celebrate various Japanese holidays. On children's day (May 5th) children create colourful carp which represent determination and strength.
During summertime, Tanabata, the Star Festival is celebrated and people decorate live bamboo branches with origami stars.
There is a famous story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl, who became very ill after the Hiroshima bombing. When Sadako was 11, she developed leukaemia, and she decided that she wanted to make 1000 origami cranes, inspired by an ancient Japanese legend that anyone who folded a thousand origami cranes would be granted a wish. Throughout the 14 months that she spent in hospital, she folded over 1300 paper cranes, using whatever paper she could get a hold of. She died in 1955, and her friends and classmates raised money to build a memorial in her honour. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial has a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane. The plaque at the base of the memorial reads:
This is our cry.
This is our prayer.
Peace in the world.
Each year on World Peace Day (September 21), many children around the world fold cranes as a symbol of peace.
In this activity, we will have ago at a simple origami craft - making a four point star!
you will need:
two sheets of origami paper (we love using two different colours or patterns)
Once you've mastered this origami craft, see what other fun origami projects you can make!
...or try the full Japan: Explore-The-World-From-Home Guide here: