‘It can be done by anybody’: Examining the art of origami

Japan 2020

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – It’s a basic concept that can produce amazing results.

“The beauty of origami is simply folding something with just your hands. You don’t need any special tools, you just need a piece of paper and your hands,” said Linda Mihara, owner of Paper Tree in San Francisco.

Mihara says she’s been practicing the art of origami all her life. She says that’s true of many people who grew up in the Japanese culture.

“In Japan, origami is pretty much handed down from generation to generation from mother to child,” said Mihara.

The word “origami” is Japanese.

“Ori” is the plural for “to fold” and “gami” is the plural for “paper.”

Mihara’s grandfather published one of the first books in English on origami here in the United States. That was in the 1950s, but the first publication on origami ever was in Japan back in the 1790s.

To this day, the art form is still very popular.

“Origami I think has its advantage that it can be done by anybody,” said Mihara.

The principals are also being used in science and math.

“Heart stents. The stent has to go into the artery, but then open evenly and efficiently so they’re using origami principals to do that design,” said Mihara.

She says she’s hopeful at some point we’ll see origami spotlighted at the Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s something that could be worked in there at some point.”

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