|The Public Paperfolding History Project
origami is the idea that origami designs should be
created by folding alone and not by the use of cuts, glue
This page is being used to collect material that bears on the origin and development of this concept.
The introduction to 'Fun-time Paper Folding' by Elinor Tripato Massoglio, which was published by Childrens Press in Chicago in 1959, says 'According to tradition, the paper must not be cut or pasted and the object should be folded from a single piece', which is interesting precisely because it is not true. It is also interesting to note that despite this statement the 'Swan' is heavily cut. Several drawings of the finished designs show them enhanced with drawn on eyes and other details.
Volume 2 Issue 3 of 'The Origamian' for Spring / Summer 1962 contained a letter from Fred Rohm saying of Neal Elias 'He apparently dislikes any cutting so his folds are rather complex ...' The same issue also mentions Neal Elias' latest fold 'a Tiger with no cutting to make the ears. This is made by one by one and a half rectangle.'
Vol 3: Issue 3 of the Origamian for Autumn 1963 contains an article by Akira Yoshizawa on 'Creative Origami', which was originally published in Kokusai Bunka magazine in January 1961. This states, inter alia:
Vol 3: Issue 4 of the Origamian for Winter 1963/4 contains an article by Fred Rohm, 'On Cutting'.
The same issue contains a review by Lillian Oppenheimer of 'Tanoshii Origami' by Yoshizawa which mentions that it contains a compound figure which holds together without the need for glue.
A profile by Peter Van Note of 'three generations of paperfolders - the family Uchiyama' - grandmother, father and son - appeared in Vol 4: Issue 1 of 'The Origamian' for Spring 1964 which explained the thinking behind his heavily cut style of origami:
Vol 4: Issue 2 of 'The Origamian' for Summer 1964 contains a follow-up article 'More About Cutting' by Fred Rohm:
The same edition of 'The Origamian'contains a report of 'A Paperfolder's Trip to Japan' by Florence Temko, which describes her meeting with Koshio Uchiyama.
Vol 4: Issue 4 of 'The Origamian' for Winter 1964 contains a profile of James M Sakoda written by Alice Gray, much of which is directly quoted from one of his letters, which gives his views on cutting:
Vol 5: Issue 3 of 'The Origamian' for Autumn 1965 contained a review of 'Papiroflexia Zoomorphica', written by Francis K McNaul Jr, which, inter alia, also gave information on Solorzano's view of the use of cuts:
The Introduction to 'Your Book of Paperfolding' by Vanessa and Eric de Maré, which was published by Faber and Faber in London in 1968, says that in Japan 'The simple folded object is considered to be superior to that which is cut or glued.' However, the authors do not appear to have taken this philosophy on board.
Vol 9: Issue 2 of 'The Origamian' for Summer 1969 contained an article (in two parts) on 'Strengthening and Protecting Origami Exhibition Pieces' by Mark Medvene (part 1) and Francisco del Rio (part 2) about the use of laquer to protect finished paperfolds.
Vol 9: Issue 3 of 'The Origamian for Autumn 1969 contained a profile of John Montroll, then 16, written by Alice Gray, which includes some brief information on his paperfolding ethics: