Hi, looking for history about Origami? Well, you came to the right place!
Origami is Japanese. "Ori" means folding in Japanese and "kami" is paper.
Origami started in China, not Japan. It took as long as five centuries to spread to Japan. Paper was very expensive so it was used wisely. The ancient ninja Samurai (sa-MURE-ay) would exchange gifts of paper folded with a strip of dried meat to each other. This was called noshi (NO-shee). The gifts were considered good luck tokens. Weddings were celebrated by wrapping glasses of rice wine in Origami butterflies. Paper became less expensive as time went by and it was favored by everyone, even the poor.
Even to this day, the Japanese are careful not to waste any paper. Even the tiniest scraps are used for Origami. Probably for centuries, the directions for Origami had to be memorized. The Japanese taught the instructions to each generation. This became their cultural heritage. The first book that had instructions to the crane was published in 1797. It was called How to Fold 1000 Cranes. The crane is a sacred bird in Japan.
In Japan, it was a customary belief that if a person folded 1000 paper cranes, he or she would be granted one wish.
Meanwhile, the Moors of Africa were also folding paper when they invaded Spain in the eighth century. The Moors used paper to fold geometric shapes because their religion didnít allow them to make animals. Origami spread from Spain to South America, to Europe, then to the U.S.A.
Today, master paperfolders are around the globe. Akira Yoshizawa from Japan is called, "The Father of Modern Origami." He has made symbols that will be used worldwide for Origami. The crane is a Global Peace Symbol.