Monday, March 9, 2009


Amy here, part two of the English Intern ‘tag team’.

On those rare days when there is no karate training or work to do and the weather outside is dismal, with the wind howling and the rain pelting the windows, what is there for the intern to do? Well on one such day I found myself enjoying one of the great Japanese cultural arts............Origami.

Unfortunately there are no classes for gaijin in this noble art, or at least none that I've found! It is taught to kindergarten children, from their teachers, parents, grandparents........a tradition passed down through the generations. So I found myself reading, (actually following the diagrams) of an origami book recently purchased from the great Hundred Yen Shop, with enough paper so that I would be able to succeed in making something, even with all the mistakes .

Start simple....
The books are all obviously in Japanese, but if children as young as three have mastered this then it can’t be that hard, (or so I thought). So with much trial and error I finally managed to make an orange and white budgie. I believed it was a great achievement, until Carl commented ‘Erm.......what is it?’ Obviously he does not have the same artistic eye that I have, and I had managed to complete a small zoo, including turtles, squids, seals, whales, dragonflies, rabbits, frogs (that actually jumps!) and other birds that I don’t know the name of. All of which I thought were very complex..................until I saw a child of five make one of the more difficult birds which took me about twenty minutes to do, in about three minutes before the start of his English class.

So I thought I would share this great art with you, by showing you with simple instructions how to make a whale.

You will need.....
- A square piece of paper
- A pair of scissors
- A flat surface

Step 1

Take your piece of paper and fold it diagonally across then open it back out.

Step 2

Fold in two of the corners to make a kite shape.

Step 3
Turn the kite over.

Step 4

Fold the bottom of the kite to the top of the kite.

Step 5

Turn the piece of paper over.

Step 6

You now need to fold the paper back into a kite shape. The easiest way is to take hold of the lose flaps (marked with a circle on the picture) and pull down, then flatten. You should get a diamond shape and the folds should be the same that are marked on the image. Do both sides.

Step 7

Fold one of the left flaps over.

Step 8

Take the corner on the right hand side and fold it o the middle.

Step 9

Then fold the corners from the top and the bottom towards the middle, leaving a small space.

Step 10

Turn the paper over.

Step 11

Fold the right corner in slightly.

Step 12

Fold the two middle flaps open.

Step 13

Fold the piece of paper in half, and make the small fold on the right hand side stand vertical (the tail).

Step 14

Cut down the centre of the tail and bend down.


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