Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Paper in Japan Part 2

Last week I shared my paper adventures in Kyoto. This week I want to introduce you to Tokyo's Origami Kaikan (Origami Center) which is a six floor building dedicated to all things origami. After perusing the lobby showroom of classes offered, I climbed the stairs to the second floor gallery where there was a wonderful display of armored cavalrymen. Then it was up to the third floor to soak up all of the papers. There were packaged origami squares in all colors and sizes as well as racks and flat files of large sheets of chiyogami paper. I spent quite a bit of time looking through them and only seeing one or two that I can get here in the States. As I was paying for my purchases the clerk informed me that the director, Kazuo Kobayashi would be down to do some demonstrations soon and would I like to stay. Of course I stayed and was entertained (despite not knowing any Japanese) for the better part of an hour while Sensei Kobayashi folded and cut many samples for the Year of the Monkey. He was a revelation to me as he didn't fold anything precisely nor did he look at what he was folding often. It was astonishing to see him create such beautiful results in such an imprecise manner. He kindly gave me the rose and leaf pictured below which took him about a minute to make, all the while chatting to the gathered crowd.

I eventually tore myself away from the demonstration and wandered up to the fourth floor where you can watch them paint paper and hang it to dry. The fifth and sixth floors are reserved for classes and as I wasn't signed up for any I skipped them. I left full of ideas and a renewed passion for origami.

I hope you enjoy the images below from this lovely paper destination in Tokyo.


First floor display.

Displays on the way up to the gallery. The above "plant" is made entirely of folded cranes.

Calvary of folded paper in the second floor gallery.

Men dying paper mustard yellow and red on the fourth floor.

Monkey fold the Master taught us.

Rose and leaf Sensei Kobayashi gave me.