The Public Paperfolding History Project

Index Page


Closed Wrappers

This page is being used to collect information about a type of tsutsumi from the Japanese tradition that I call Closed Wrappers, because they are intended to securely container seeds, powders etc. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

'Tsutsumi' just means 'wrapping' in a very general sense. There are a huge variety of wrappers found in the Japanese paperfolding tradition and it is difficult to divide them into completely distinct categories. However, it does seem useful to me to distinguish between two of the most obvious categories, which I call closed and open wrappers respectively.

Closed Wrappers are folded paper packages the design of which is often (or perhaps usually) specific to the foodstuff or other items the package is intended to contain. These wrappers are closed so that the contents don't fall out.

Open Wrappers are formal / ceremonial paper wrappers for flowers or greenery, usually (or perhaps always) of a design specific to the particular flower or greenery they are intended to wrap. I call these wrappers 'open' because they do not enclose the whole of the flowers or greenery but only wrap part of the stems.

Note that there are many other wrappers which do not easily fall into either of these categories.

(The terms Open and Closed Wrappers are my own and do not reflect any Japanese usage that I am aware of. Japanese usage does not seem to make this distinction, but it seems helpful to me to do so.)


The Basic Packet - 1648 onwards


The 3x3 Wrap - 1842 onwards


The Hexagonal Incense Packet - 1878 onwards



A design for a Shojo-kawa (Wrapper for Certificate) appears in issue 1894 / 10 of the Japanese children's magazine 'Shokokumin'.



A design for a 'Container' appears in issue 1895 / 3 of the Japanese children's magazine 'Shokokumin'.


The Basic Packet with Integral Noshi - 1905 onwards



'Shukou Tebikigusa : Kokumin Kyoiku Origami Yuihimo' by Ishin Nishigaki, which was published by Meguro Shoten in Nagaoka in 1907 contains diagrams for a 'Banknote Wrapper'.