Akira Yoshizawa, the Father of Origami

If you logged onto Google this morning, you probably noticed today’s colorful Doodle. It turns out that March 14 would have been the 101st birthday of origami master, Akira Yoshizawa, and that the folded paper drawing is a tribute to his work. One of his most important contributions to the origami world is his development of the “wet-folding” technique, which slightly dampens the paper before it is folded. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Yoshizawa’s life, however, is his ultimate dedication to his craft. His life and success act as an illustration of the power of perseverance!

What do you think of our Pelican?

Yoshizawa’s life was not always focused on this ancient art, however. He was born to dairy farmers, but moved to Tokyo as a young teenager and took a factory job. As he was promoted, he used origami, which he had been taught as a child, to teach other workers basic geometry. By 1937, he quit his job and dedicated his life to the intricate manipulation of paper full-time. The rest of his story is a fascinating one and more information can be found on About.com, in the Origami section!

What better way to celebrate the “origami grandmaster’s” birthday with some paper-folding practice of your own? We found a great set of instructions for an Origami Pelican on the Origami-Fun website (get the full set here). Check out how we fared in the photo to the right!

Would you consider yourself a paper-folding expert or are you an origami novice like me? Post a comment or photo below!

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