Ochanomizu Origami Kaikan
At Origami Kaikan, you can enjoy the world of Japanese handmade paper called washi, including ceremonial folds called “origata” which originated in the Muromachi period among samurai families, origami for the purpose of enjoyment which became popular in the Meiji period and chigiri-e and washi crafts made of colorful washi called chiyogami.
Chigiri-e is a Japanese art form wherein traditional Japanese paper called washi is torn and pasted together to create colorful images that often resemble water color paintings.
Origami Kaikan started as “Kobayashi Dyed Paper Shop” that was established in 1858.
During the educational reform of the Meiji period, Ministry of Education adopted origami as a part of infant educational curriculum. “Kobayashi Dyed Paper Shop” started taking orders to make colorful square sheets of paper.
This is how origami became a product for the first time in the world.
You can look at different origami designs from up close at the gallery in mezzanine.
Here various pieces of origami and chiyogami are on display.
Displays on the walls are ceremonial origata and origami of traditional designs such as animals and wild flowers.
(Note: Displays on the walls may change depending on the main exhibition contents.)
Delicate artworks of origami creators will surely captivate visitors.
Artisans hand-dye each piece of washi here.
They mix pigment, dyes and metallic pigment under the natural light without using any scale to determine the amount of materials to use.
Once the dyes are carefully applied, artisans hang the paper on the ceiling ropes to air-dry using a T-shaped stick called shimoku.
After the paper has dried completely, it is stretched on a flat table, placed under a heavy stone and smoothed out by hand.
At large piece material section, you’d find many materials for washi crafts including shibori-dyed washi, chirimen washi, lacy rakusui paper and washi with traditional designs.
At the adjacent main shop space, you’ll find more common origami products.
There are many books on origami with English translation, and many tourists buy both books and origami as a set.