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The paperfolding of Okimasa (Kosho, sometimes Koshio) Uchiyama

Okimasa (Kosho, sometimes Koshio) Uchiyama (son of Michio Uchiyama) was born in 1912 and died in 1998.

He is much more famous for his writings on Zen Buddhism than for his origami.



Wikipedia has an article on him which concentrates on his buddist writings Kosho Uchiyama - Wikipedia which contains in the bibliography - Uchiyama, Kosho (1962). Origami. Tokyo: Kokudosha.

There is a German edition of this book Origami: Uchiyama, Kosho: 9783824114085: Books

About — Everett Zazen Group gives a picture of Kosho Uchiyama with one of his (heavily cut) origami creations.

Kosho Uchiyamam is mentioned in David Lister's article 'A Miscellaneous Collection of Jottings on the History of Origami' which was written in 1998.

We have futher light on this from the Uchiyama family. You may have heard that Kosho Uchiyama died last March in his 80s. A Buddhist priest living in a monastery, Uchiyama was of the same generation as Yoshizawa, and shared an interest in Origami. In 1958 he published a colorful book of Origami for children called "Origami Zukan", which was compared at the time with Yoshizawa's "Origami Tokuhon", which was published the previous year, 1957. The difference was that Uchiyama's book contained more cutting than that of Yoshizawa. Although Uchiyama had some fine models, the standard of his folding was not as fine as that of Yoshizawa. Neverthelesss, he was a close rival and Kosho Uchiyama went on to publish several more books for adults and children, which (according to the newly prevailing ideas, frowning upon it), contained much less cutting.




A profile by Peter Van Note of 'three generations of paperfolders - the family Uchiyama' - grandmother, father and son - appeared in Vol 4: Issue 1 of 'The Origamian' for Spring 1964:


The same edition of 'The Origamian' includes diagrams for two of his designs:

Turtle (Cut) by Koshio Uchiyama

(from a base by Michio Uchiyama)


Sea Bream (2-part Compound Design) by Koshio Uchiyama


Vol 4: Issue 2 of 'The Origamian' for Summer 1964 contains a report of 'A Paperfolder's Trip to Japan' by Florence Temko, which describes her meeting with Koshio Uchiyama.


'Secrets of Origami', by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne Book Company in London in 1964, contained diagrams for a number of Kosho Uchiyama's designs:

Japanese Gentleman (Cut)


Japanese Lady (Cut)


Book Case


Salt Cellar Table (also attributed to Jack L Skillman)



'The Origamian' Vol 7: Issue 3 of Winter 1967 contains an article by Toshie Takahama titled 'Origami in Japan Today' in which Koshio Uchiyama is mentioned.



Two of the designs from 'Secrets of Origami', the Japanese Lady (Cut) and Japanese Gentleman (Cut) also appear in 'Your Book of Paperfolding' by Vanessa and Eric de Maré, which was published by Faber and Faber in London in 1968, but without attribution.