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The Sosaku Origami Group '67

The Sosaku Origami Group '67 was formed in Japan in May 1967.

The group had nine members, Atsushi Miyashita (the eldest and the facilitator of the group), Kunihiko Kasahara, Mitsunobu Sonobe, Toshie Takahama, Hideaki Sakata, Sachiko Kawahata, Masayoshi Kato, Tsuguyo Nagahara and Shigeko Hasegawa. Brief details of the experience and interests of each of the members were given in the book 'Atarashi Origami Nyumon' (see below).

Several of the members, including Toshie Takahama and Mitsunobu Sonobe (but not Atsushi Miyashita or Kunihiko Kasahara) had previously been formal pupils of Toyoaki Kawai.

According to Kunihiko Kasahara 'Around 1967, nine of us, origami enthusiasts, got together and almost spontaneously a group named “Creative Origami Group 67” was born. It included Mitsunobu Sonobe and Toshie Takahama, too. I am not going into detail here, but we organized exhibitions together, had workshops, and published group letters, etc.' (Source: Private email to Michael Naughton, translated by Nobuko Okabe)

In his writings, David Lister gives two brief accounts of how the Sosaku Origami Group '67 was formed, the earlier in his article about the Sonobe Module and the later, which seems more in accordance with the statement that the group had formed spontaneously (see above), in his article about Kunihiko Kasahara, dated 22nd September, 2005: 'In 1965, Mrs.Toshie Takahama had visited New York for the World Fair as a member of a party led by Toyoaki Kawai. There Mrs Takahama met Lillian Oppenheimer and she was privately impressed by the way in which the Western folders of the Origami Center freely associated together on equal terms. It was unlike the master and pupil relationship which was traditional in Japan and which had been followed by Yoshizawa and later by Kawai. Toshie Takahama decided to form a similar sort of members’ society in Japan. In 1967, after one or two attempts that came to nothing, she helped to form “Sosaku Origami 67”, a small group of creative folders that included Kasahara. Another member was Mitsunobu Sonobe, the inventor of the Sonobe module. For a few years Sosaku Origami 67 became very influential and a catalyst for exploring new ideas in origami in Japan.'

Source (1) says that the Sosaku Origami Group '67 'was a group that didn't have a leader and whose members did whatever they liked to do', very much in contrast to the earlier, more formally structured and led groups of Yoshizawa and Kawaii.

The Sosaku Origami Group '67 published a bi-annual magazine, called 'Origami' (seven were published in all), beginning in October 1967 (1), and in 1970 a book 'Atarashi Origami Nyumon' (Guide to New Origami), which contained some of the material previously published in the magazines (1).

It also included details of the membership (see above) and of some of the group's activities:

Translated this says, roughly:

June 1967 - Joint exhibition at the showroom of Tokyo Tamachi Mitsubishi Corporation.

July 1967 - Joint exhibition at the showroom of Marunouchi Mitsubishi Corporation.

August 1967 - start of a year of origami classes sponsored by the Yomiuri Shimbun.

October 1967 - Created origami props for the 'Yamabetsuko' by the 'Moronikoi' theatre company.

November 1967 - Created (models?) for (an advert for?) 'Monochiri Hakase' on NHK tv.

March 1968 - held an exhibition of folding for the 'Hinamatsuri' festival at Yanase Ginza Center.

March 1968 - also held a workshop on festival paper folding at Tojo Kaikan.

Since then they have been involved in various other activities up to the present day.


The ethos of the group was set out in issue 1 of 'Origami': 'we hope regular people enjoy origami more and thus improve (our activities).' (1)

Issue 2 contained diagrams for Mitsunobu Sonobe's 'Color Box', the first publication of what later became known as the Sonobe Module.

The group was also interested in the international development of origami. The magazines contain a series of articles by Toshie Takahama on 'Origami news abroad' which gives news from The Origami Center (later OUSA) and the British Origami Society. Diagrams in the journal have English subtitles which implies that the journals were not only intended for a Japanese audience. (1)



(1) ''An Introduction to Neo-Origami' by Origami Artists Group '67' by Horiguchi Naoto in Origami Tanteidan Magazine Vol 29, Issue 172 of November 2018.