The Public Paperfolding History Project

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The Kabuto Base Cicada / La Mosca
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the design that I call the Kabuto Base Cicada because it is developed from the same initial folds as the Kabuto. 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.

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In Japan

1845

As far as I am aware the earliest diagrams for a cicada design appear on page 36 of the Kan No Mado, which is usually dated to 1845. It is one of only a handful of designs in this manuscript that is folded from an uncut square. The instructions say, 'Twist both corners with fingernails to make the eyes.'

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1884

A drawing of a similar cicada appears in 'Kindergarten Shoho' (Preliminary Kindergarten) by Iijima Hanjuro, which was copyrighted on October 4th Meiji 17 (1884) and published by Fukuda Senzo in August of Meiji 18 (1885).

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1931

Another version appears in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda, which was published in Japan in 1931.

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1951

An illustration of a colour-changed version of the Kabuto Base Cicada appears in 'Origami: Folding Paper for Children' by Claude Sarasas, which was first published by Kodansha in Tokyo in 1951. (The diagrams are for a Crossover Cicada design.)

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In Western Europe / USA

1928

A design called 'la mosca' (the fly) appeared in an interview with Unamuno entitled 'Miguel de Unamuno - der Baskische Bildhauer' (the Basque Sculptor), by Edda Reinhardt, which was published in October 1928 in Berlin in the avante-garde magazine 'Der Querschnitt'. The full article can be read, in the original German and in Spanish and English translations, here.

This design appears to be a version of the Kabuto Base Cicada design, although it was most probably originated independently by Unamuno.

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1932

'La mosca' also appears in a photograph in an article about Unamuno in the magazine 'Estampa', which was published in Madrid on 3rd December 1932.

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1951

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, also contains the 'La Mosca' design and attributes it to Miguel de Unamuno.

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