The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Open Wrappers

This page attempts to collect together information about a type of tsutsumi from the Japanese tradition that I call Open Wrappers. 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.

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.

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.

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.)

More information about the folding of Open Wrappers is currently available on the Tsutsumi - General page.