The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Turtles / Tortoises
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of folded Paper Turtles and Tortoises. 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.

See also Crane and Tortoise Designs


In Japan (and in publications by Japanese authors)


Designs for both a Turtle and a Simple Tortoise appear in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda, which was first published in Japan in 1931.





A design for a tortoise in which a cut is used to separate the back legs appears in 'Origami: Folding Paper for Children' by Claude Sarasas, which was first published by Kodansha in Tokyo in 1951.



A design for a cut turtle, where the cut is used to separate the back legs,appears in 'Pocket Guide to Origami: Bow-Wow Book', by Isao Honda, which was published by the Asahi Origami Club, Tokyo in 1959. Also see 1968.


In Western Europe / The USA


The extended version of 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1951, contains a design for 'La Tortuga' (The Turtle)



'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956 contains diagrams for Harbin's 'Tortoise' ...


... and for Harbin's 'Shy Tortoise', an active play paperfold'



The cut turtle design appears again in 'Your Book of Paperfolding' by Vanessa and Eric de Maré, which was published by Faber and Faber in London in 1968, where it was is to be a traditional Japanese design.