Origami—Paper Miniatures of the World
Around a thousand years ago, if you weren’t a member of the Japanese nobility, you would have almost certainly been too poor to afford paper for origami (or 折り紙 a compilation of the word oru, to fold and kami, or paper). A few hundred years after that, in the Muromachi period, paper had become cheap enough that it could be used by everyone, but your class would have been obvious based on which style you folded your paper in, as only the Samuri folded in the Ise manner, while farmers and peasants folded in the style of the Ogasawara school.(Engel, 23-24). It was only in the Tokugawa or
Regardless of whether what is created is stylized or an attempt at a more technically correct representation, all origami creators must work from the single sheet of paper. Although the texture of the paper, or its colour or size may differ, all designs in origami are constrained to this one sheet of paper, and to some (relatively) simple folds. In Taoism, this square is seen as a sort of first form, as it were, (Engel) and it is then from this form that all others can begin to arise in the world of origami. Given the constraint that is contained in this single piece of paper, some origami artists liken the process of folding a plant or animal from a piece of paper to one of creation, starting with a sort of primordial nothingness, and gradually progressing from there to the final form. In this manner, then, origami becomes not only a miniaturization of what it seeks to represent, but a miniaturization of the creation of that thing as well.
~guest blogger, Rachel Katler