Origami Heaven

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The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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The Kikuzara / Japanese Ornamental Ball
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design known as the Kikuzara and its derivative, the Japanese Ornamental Ball. 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.

The Kikuzara

The Kikuzara is pictured in a publication of the Tokyo Women's Normal School which dates from 1878.

The Japanese Ornamental Ball

Diagrams for the Japanese Ornamental Ball appear in Margaret Campbell's 'Paper Toy Making', which was published by Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Ltd in London, probably in 1937, although both the Foreword and Preface are dated 1936, which argues that the book was complete at that date.

According to the text 'The Japanese make six of these (blintzed bird bases), and sew them together at the points until a complete ball is made. ... A coloured bead finishes off each corner.'

While there seems to be a clear connection between these two designs it is worth noting that the internal flaps of the modules are not developed here in the way they are in the Kikusara.