Are you looking for a hobby that’s not only entertaining but allows you to express your creativity and practise mindfulness? If so, then you might be interested in origami.
Origami is the art of paper folding and its name comes from the Japanese words oru (which means “to fold”) and kami (meaning “paper”). No one knows for sure where origami first originated. Some say it began in China, where paper was invented 2,000 years ago, while many others suggest that it was first conceived by the Japanese.
Although the art of paper folding is thought to be much older, surprisingly, the first hard evidence we have of origami is relatively recent: a mention of the traditional butterfly shape can be found in a poem written by Japanese poet and novelist Ihara Saikaki in 1680.
Over the centuries, origami has become an iconic part of Japanese culture. It was traditionally used to create gifts and decorations, for instance, to adorn sake bottles at traditional Japanese wedding ceremonies.
Today, origami is a widely-used practice that encourages mindfulness and creative expression. Plus, it’s helpful for developing our hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and fine motor skills. And because it requires great mental concentration, it’s beneficial for our cognitive abilities too.
Origami has become so influential that it’s also been used to revolutionise modern technology. From foldable Kevlar body shields used by law enforcement agencies to telescope lenses used by NASA, the principles of origami have been used to make giant leaps in medicine, architecture, and engineering.
While origami is used to make both decorative and functional items, the focus is placed on the process itself. As Akira Yoshizawa, the “grandmaster” of origami, once said, “When you fold, the ritual and the act of creation is more important than the final result. When your hands are busy your heart is serene.”
To get you started with this mindful and creative art, we’ve put together this short introductory guide, so you can get folding…