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Why Akira Yoshizawa is considered the grandfather of origami?

Saturday, 01 July 2017 00:00

Why Akira Yoshizawa is considered the grandfather of origami?

 

Books on origami started appearing in Japan around XVII-XVIII centuries. They had a depiction of the finished model and description of the steps of folding. Usual diagrams didn't exist yet. In the late XIX - early XX centuries, origami even started to be taught in Japanese schools, but the folding process still had to be shown visually.

A revolutionary breakthrough in origami occurred when Akira Yoshizawa, the young draftsman of the engineering plant, decided to explain the foundations of geometry to the workers with the help of origami. Even the plant’s management was impressed with his skills. The young master was allowed to do his favorite craft at work. Since then we can use the conventional symbols adopted in modern origami. Akira Yoshizawa (March 14, 1911 - March 14, 2005) carried his love of origami throughout entire life. He folded his first figure as early as at the age of 3 years, then mastered all the known models in elementary school and later began to invent his own.

Life in pre-war Japan was rather complicated. Since Akira was not from a rich family, and had several siblings, the young master had to start working at the age of 13. At that time, he moved to Tokyo, and worked part-time during his studies at evening school. Then he goes to the factory, where he reveals his origami talents to others.

Unfortunately, until the early 1950s Akira Yoshizawa's work remained largely unknown to the general public. After returning to his native Tochigi prefecture after the war, the master was at the brink of unemployment. Everything began to change at around 1950, when the trade union of teachers of labor and arts asked him to take part in an exhibition. In 1952, the master was asked to prepare figurines - symbols of the 12-year annual cycle, for the “Asahi Kraft” newspaper. After the newspaper’s release, Akira Yoshizawa became famous in Japan, and, a year later, in the West. In 1954 his first book, "New Origami Art", was published and the master founded the international origami society in Tokyo.

The master’s figures are rather simple, but very elegant. They are based on classical bases. Attention to detail gives them a special charm. Let's try to make one of his figurines - a monkey.

Why Akira Yoshizawa is considered the grandfather of origami?

Why Akira Yoshizawa is considered the grandfather of origami?

Why Akira Yoshizawa is considered the grandfather of origami?

Why Akira Yoshizawa is considered the grandfather of origami?


 

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