Akira Yoshizawa

Akira Yoshizawa . He was a remarkable teacher of Japanese Origami . He is recognized as having raised origami from crafts or simple hobbies to his artistic status, thus being one of the “parents of origami”. By his own estimate from 1989 , he had created more than 50,000 models, of which only a few hundred designs were published in his eighteen books. In the purest origami tradition, she never used scissors, glue, or additional ornaments on her figures for her designs.


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  • 1 Biographical synthesis
    • 1 Artistic career
    • 2 Death
  • 2 Acknowledgments
  • 3 Innovations
  • 4 Some works
  • 5 Sources

Biographical synthesis

He was born in Tochigi on March 14 , 1911 . He became interested in origami at the age of four when, when his mother was ill, a neighbor gave him an origami figure made from newsprint. He moved with his family to Tokyo at the age of thirteen. During the Second World War he began a job as an apprentice in a foundry, in which he would end up in charge of teaching new employees the basic geometry required for the job; for this he used origami.

Artistic career

From 1937 he decided to dedicate himself professionally to origami. By 1950 Yoshizawa’s works began to be shown to the public in Japan : he made twelve paper figures representing each of the animals in the eastern zodiac that were published in the Asahi-Graph magazine ; This was the turning point in his career.

Arrived 1954 he published his first book, “Origami Art”, (Origami Geijutsu) and founded ” The International Origami Society “, which currently has more than 1,500 members. In 1955 he held his first exhibition of his work at the Museum of the City of Amsterdam in the Netherlands . This exhibition was the bridge between Japan and the Netherlands, and it became Yoshizawa’s opportunity to make himself known in Europe . In 1956 he published “Origami Reader” (Origami Tokuhon). In 1959 he exhibited at the Coopers Union Museum in New York . In 1963 her book “Tanoshii Origami” won the “Mainichi Shuppan” cultural award.

In 1972 he visited Europe, and in subsequent years he would exhibit in several cities on the continent, including Milan ( 1987 ), Seville (within the framework of Expo 1992 ) and Paris (1993). At the Universal Exposition in Seville , Yoshizawa held an exhibition inside his country’s pavilion, also giving some origami workshops.

In March 1998 he was invited to exhibit his figures at the Louvre Museum . In 2000, he exhibited at the Oji Paper Museum in Tokyo .


He died on 14 of March of 2005 in Tokyo, the day of his 94th birthday.


Throughout his career, Yoshizawa served as Japan’s international cultural ambassador. In 1983 , the Japanese Emperor Hirohito awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun , one of the highest honors a Japanese citizen can receive.

The 14 of March of 2012 Akira Yoshizawa was honored by the company Google with a commemorative doodle of the 101st anniversary of his birth and his death 7th.


Yoshizawa was a pioneer in many techniques, including wet folding. In this technique the paper is moistened before being folded, giving the folded a more curved shape and a sculpted vision. This was considered by many a paradigm shift that allowed origami to become an art form, transcending the unique and picturesque display of popular crafts. He is considered the main inspiration of other origami masters, both in Japan and internationally, such as Alfredo Giunta, Max Hulme or Michael LaFosse.

He was one of the creators of the Yoshizawa – Randlett system which is a series of symbols for folding instructions.


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