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.

There seem to be many variations of this design.

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In Japan

1878

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.

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1884

A drawing of a second version 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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1912

A drawing of another version of the Kago appears in a monozukushi-e print, by an unknown artist, but said to be from the Meiji era. I have temporarily assigned it the date of 1912, the last year of that era, pending the discovery of more accurate information.

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1931

Diagrams for yet another version appear in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda, which was published in Japan in 1931.

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In Western Europe / the USA

1900

The design first appears in Western Europe as 'Le Palanquin' in an article by Alber-Graves in the French children's magazine 'Mon Journal', probably published 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.'

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1908

The same diagrams appear in 'Les Petits Secrets Amusants' by Alber-Graves, which was published by Librairie Hachette in Paris in 1908.

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