The Public Paperfolding History Project

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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.

Early drawings of this design vary in detail. I do not know if this is illustrative licence or represents real variations in the folding method used.


In Japan


As far as I know a drawing of a Kago design first appears in 'Yochien Ombutsu No Zu', a publication of kindergarten material issued by the Tokyo Women's Normal School in 1878.



'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.'