In the past centuries, cultures have come up with creative ways to relate to, adopt, and adapt the paper craft as an artistic form. Many of these practices, including Korean Hanji, can be traced individually to specific countries of origin, but other forms – such as papier – mâché, a French-sounding art form originating in ancient China – boast colorful histories that encompass cultures across countries and There are several popular arts that have left a paper trail throughout the world, but origami has left a particularly extensive one. The roots of origami can be traced back to China and Europe as well as Japan. The goal of this article is to illustrate how each culture has shaped the beautiful and beloved art form through the history of the practice.

What is Origami?

The art of origami is the folding of paper. This name is derived from the two words ori (“folding”) and kami (“paper”). It consists of folding an uncut sheet of square paper (often with a colored side) into a sculpture without cutting, gluing, taping, or even making a mark.

History of Origami

As origami became the art form it is today, it was shaped by innovators from many countries.


Ingot ornaments that were folded into gold or yellow paper and thrown into the fire at the conclusion of ceremonies were made by meticulously folding gold or yellow paper into ingot currency. The art of paper folding eventually gained popularity in China. Although similar to Japanese origami, more modern Chinese paper folding exhibits a preference for representing inanimate objects, such as


From the 6th century onward, Japan used paper for its written communication. The practice of folding paper became part of Shinto ritual during this period. The concept of origami as a leisurely activity and an art form did not emerge until the Edo Period (1603 – 1868) in Japan. As with Japanese woodblock prints – an art form that was also popular in this time period – origami works tended to have floral, bird, and Contemporary origami does not stray from these subjects in all but one way, which must do with its continuing attachment to traditional Japanese practices Paper was initially cut strategically so that artists could create their art. In today’s origami, however, folding is the only method of creating shapes-we can thank the Europeans for that.


Folding papers originated in Europe with napkin folding, a practice that rose in popularity during The art form of napkin folding used a variety of methods and techniques that resulted in abstract and figurative forms similar to origami.

After some time, this interest in folding grew to encompass napkins being folded at dinner parties and eventually impacted schools, especially in Friedrich Fröbel’s Kindergarden Founder Friedrich Friedrich Fröbel incorporated some hands-on activities into his “play and activity” centers, including folding papers. The art form spread across the continent as a result of this exposure to origami.

By Peter