The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Orikawari-e / Japanese Fold-in Prints

This page attempts to record what is known about Orikawari-e or Japanese Fold-in Prints. 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.


c1716 - 1736

Anonymous multiple fold-in print from the Edo period. Sourced from 'Japanese Popular Prints' by Rebecca Salter, which was published by University of Hawaii Press in 2006.



This omocha-e print titled 'Kono naka wa omoshiro kimono' (Amusing Present-day Cutouts) by Utagawa Yoshifuji (1828 - 1887), which is said to date from c1860, contains two small orikawari-e sections.

The first folds in to reveal a squid, a brush and a pumpkin:

The second enables the heads of the two characters at the bottom to be exchanged for those printed above.



This print by Utagawa Kunitoshi (1847-1899), titled 'Shinban Musha no Orikawari-e' (Warrior Fold-in) can be pleated to transform the warriors into various symbols / pictures including a tortoise and a Paper Crane. The original is, of course, in colour.