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Traditionally Japanese: How To Make An Origami Crane

Traditionally Japanese: How To Make An Origami Crane

Translated by Satomi Ohba

Written by Sayuri Kamitaka

2014.11.11 Bookmark

Have you ever wanted to make your own origami crane? Follow these step-by-step instructions to make one for yourself or a friend!

Origami is a traditional Japanese past time. Children are especially fond of origami, and learn to make their own toys in this manner from a young age. In this article, we will briefly introduce what origami is, and give instructions on how to make a paper crane.

origami 00

What is Origami?

Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper to create various shapes, such as plants and animals. Of all the possible things to make however, the most well-known is the crane, which is relatively easy to fold.

The paper crane is said to represent 'peace', and there is a custom in Japan of sending 'senba-zuru' or a thousand paper cranes (which are held together by string) to those staying in hospital, to pray for the recipient's return to good health and for their longevity.

Origami has seen somewhat of a revival in recent years, as beautiful art pieces of intricate folds are coming out, and new techniques in paper folding itself are being developed around in order to create more and more complex designs.

Examples of Origami

orizuru syuugou sakuhin

A helmet

origami sakuhinnrei 02

A balloon

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A sanpou (a container to put offerings to gods or ancestors)

origami sakuhinrei 04

A helmet and a bird

origami sakuhinrei 05

A crane and crane wreath

Where Can I Find the Paper? How Much Does It Cost?

origami dokodekaeruno

Origami paper is sold in stationary shops and at 100 yen shops, and is also available at Tokyu Hands.

Let’s Make Origami!

orizuru 01

Prepare your Origami (a square sheet of paper).

orizuru 02

Fold the corner to meet the other corner to make a triangle.

orizuru 03

Fold the triangle in half.

orizuru 04

Open up one of the triangles,

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and fold it down to make a square.

orizuru 06

Do the same for the other side.

orizuru 07

Fold the right flap and left flap towards the center, so that the paper edge lines up with the center crease.

orizuru 08

Fold the top towards yourself.

orizuru 09

Unfold back to the square.

orizuru 10

Open up the square and create a diamond shape using the creases you just made as guidelines.

orizuru 12

Do the same for the other side.

orizuru 13

Fold towards the center.

orizuru 14

Repeat on the other side as well.

orizuru 15

Open up the side to fold the tip inwards and upwards.

orizuru 16

Fold inwards.

orizuru 17

Do the same for the other side.

orizuru 18

Fold the tip inwards to make the head.

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Gently pull open the wings, and you’re finished!

Beautiful Designed Paper Just for Cranes!

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Picture from:http://takahashihiroko.com

There are also special types of origami paper designed just for making cranes. Hiroko Takahashi is the designer of such masterpieces. Her works are adored by many people, and are distinguished by the marvelous design constituted of only circles and lines.

Paper cranes made from this special origami paper are not just something nice to look at. They are completed pieces of art, finished beauty.

Origami Possibilities

Origami paper can easily be bought at a low price, as they are sold in 100 yen shops, and packages of this paper make for excellent souvenirs. Why not pick some up and make some of your own works of art too?


Daiso Harajuku
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae 1-19-24 Village 107
Hours: 10:00 - 21:00
Nearest Station: JR Harajuku
Access: 2 minute walk from Takeshita exit, JR Harajuku station. Go straight and you will see it on your left.
Phone: 03-5775-9641

Seria Asakusa EKIMISE Shop
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 1-4-1 Ekimise 7F
Hours: 10:00 - 20:00
Nearest Station: Asakusa Station
Access: Inside Asakusa Station EKIMISE building
Phone: 03-5830-7760
Website: http://www.seria-group.com/

CanDo Seibu Shinjuku PePe Shop
Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kabukicho 1-30-1, Seibu Shinjuku PePe 8F
Hours: 11:00 - 22:00
Nearest Station: Seibu Shinjuku Station
Access: Directly connected to Seibu Shinjuku Station or 5 minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station, central east exit
Phone: 03-3202-1160
Website: Can Do

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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