The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Last updated 26/2/2024


The Kimono
This page is being used to collect information about the history of the paperfolding design known as the Kimono. 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.



As far as I know a version of this design first appears in 'Kindergarten Shoho' (Preliminary Kindergarten) by Iijima Hanjuro, which was copyrighted on October 4th Meiji 17 (1884) and published by Fukuda Senzo in August of Meiji 18 (1885), where it is called a 'hanten',which is not in fact a kimono but a kind of short padded jacket usually worn in cold weather.



A way of folding a Kimono from a hand towel appears in 1893 in volume 5 issue 12 of 'Shokokumin' children's magazine.



A drawing of the Kimono appears in a monozukushi-e print, by an unknown artist, but said to be from the Meiji era. I have temporarily assigned it the date of 1912, the last year of that era, pending the discovery of more accurate information.



A version of the same design, but folded from a 1x3 rectangle, appears in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda, which was first published in Japan in 1931.



The Kimono design also appears:

In 'Origami: Folding Paper for Children' by Claude Sarasas, which was first published by Kodansha in Tokyo in 1951.



In 'Origami: Book Two' by Florence Sakade, which was published by the Charles E Tuttle Company in Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo in 1958



In 'Secrets of Origami', by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne Book Company in London in 1964.



This design also appears in 'The World of Origami' by Isao Honda, which was published in the USA by Japan Publications Trading Company in 1965, along with a second version of the design which is called 'Jacket'.



A cut version of the design appears in 'Origami in the Classroom: Book 2: Activities for winter through summer' by Chiyo Araki was published by Charles E Tuttle Co Inc in 1968.