Kotobukizuru (Congratulations Crane)

public diagram project logoThis was the inagural diagram from the Public Diagram Project, which was launched in October 2009 (you can read more about it here). You can view this diagram through google docs.

The first time I published diagrams for this model, I thought I’d invented it. Turns out I was wrong– somebody pointed out that it was identical to an obscure traditional model from Japan, which I’d never heard of. I had already submitted the diagram for the 2010 OrigamiUSA collection, so I emailed them and managed to get it correctly labelled as a traditional model before the collection was printed.

This is apparently a relatively well-known traditional model in Japan. Diagrams for it appear in “Step-By-Step Origami” by Steve and Megumi Biddle (Ebury Press, 1991), where it is designated as a traditional model. I have not found any earlier published references to the model yet, however a discussion on The Origami Mailing List unanimously confirmed that it was considered to be a traditional model.

It is a simple enough variation on the traditional Japanese crane that even if it had no published record as a traditional model, I would suspect it as being such. However the folding sequence requires either a layer wrap or a sink, which are both relatively modern developments. Furthermore, the lack of documentation in historical sources such as Hiden Senbazuru Orikata (1797), or in other english-language collections of traditional origami, supports the conclusion that this was a recent addition to the traditional repertoire.

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