Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


The Sedan Chair / Kago / Palanquin
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design known as the Sedan Chair / Kago / Palanquin. 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.


In Japan


As far as I know a drawing of a Sedan Chair design first 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).


Diagrams for a similar (but perhaps different) design appear in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda, which was published in Japan in 1931.


In Western Europe / the USA


The design first appears in Western Europe in the French children's magazine 'Mon Journal', probably in 1900, although I have not been able to identify the exact date of the article. The introduction says, roughly, 'The imagination and ingenuity of the Japanese is extraordinary, and the designs that they make by folding paper are of a considerable number. I have already had the pleasure of explaining several to you; today I wish to show you how to make, after their method, a kind of portable chair or palanquin which is carried on the shoulders.'