The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Madame Chrysantheme by Pierre Loti, 1887

'Madame Chrysantheme' by Pierre Loti was published in Paris in 1887. It is the faux diary of a fictional naval officer who falls in love with and marries a Japanese woman. It contains several references to the practice of carrying squares of kaishi in the front folds or the sleeves of the kimono, as well as other incidental references to paperfolding.

The information on this page is taken from an edition published by Calmann Levy in Paris in 1888 , a full copy of which can be accessed online here.


From page 214

Roughly, this reads: 'Like all Japanese ladies, Chrysantheme squeezes a number of things into the inside of her long sleeves, where pockets are concealed. She puts there letters, some notes ... and above all a large quantity of squares of silky paper that she uses for the most unexpected purposes; wiping a teacup, holding the wet stem of a flower, or blowing her funny little nose when the opportunity arises ...'