Origami might technically not have originally been invented in Japan but Japan definitely made a huge contribution to the art so much that most people think of Japan when it comes to origami.

It stands to reason that there would be some amazing looking origami designs based on Japanaese culture and mythology and that’s what this post will explore starting with these origami Thunder God models.

Raijin is the god of thunder and lightening in Shintoism. He’s usually depicted with a collection of drums that he uses to create thunder.

Hojyo Takashi has designed an amazing origami Raijin and the entire model is folded from one single sheet of paper!

Origami Raijin

God of Thunder, Designed by Hojyo Takashi and Folded by Dzmitry Lysiuk

Diagrams available in the Tanteidan 10th Convention book

Original image on Flickr

 

Origami Raijin

God of Thunder, Designed by Hojyo Takashi and Folded by Mariano Zavala B.

Diagrams available in the Tanteidan 10th Convention book

Original image on Flickr

 

Origami Raijin

God of Thunder, Designed by Hojyo Takashi and Folded by Tong Liu

Diagrams available in the Tanteidan 10th Convention book

Original image on Flickr

 

Here’s another different and also awesome God of Thunder design.

Origami God of Thunder

Thunder God, Designed and Folded by 驰 张

Instructions not available

Original image on Flickr

 

Here’s a great very Japanese looking scene folded by Magali.

Folding Girl

Folding Girl, Designed by Setsuko Yamashina and Folded by Magali

Diagrams available in Origami Creator 3

Original image on Flickr

 

When people think of Japanese culture one of the things that always comes to mind is the Japanese samurai and of course there are some great origami samurais.

Origami Samurai

Samurai, Designed and Folded by Karol Kafarski

Crease pattern available from Karol Kafarski’s Flickr

Original image on Flickr

 

Origami Samurai

Samurai, Designed by Karol Kafarski and Folded by NGUYỄN QUANG ANH

Crease pattern available from Karol Kafarski’s Flickr

Original image on Flickr

 

Tengu are a type of legendary creature in Japanese mythology that are usually depicted with a combination of human and bird-like features. The earliest depictions of Tengu had beaks but over time they started to be represented with really large noses which is the design most people think of today.

Naoki Takeda has designed an incredible origami Tengu and the whole model is folded from one sheet of paper.

Origami Tengu

Tengu, Designed by Naoki Takeda and Folded by Artur Biernacki

Crease pattern available in Origami Tanteidan Magazine #121

Original image on Flickr

 

The Nine-Tailed Fox is a very popular creature in Japanese mythology. It originally came out of Chinese mythology and was later introduced to both Japan and Korea. Nine-Tailed foxes appear in a lot of different Japanese myths and stories.

This amazing Nine-Tailed fox or Kyubi no Youko in Japanese is designed by Pham Ngoc Tuan and folded with just one sheet of paper!

Origami Kyubi no Youko

Kyubi no Youko, Designed by Pham Ngoc Tuan and Folded by Nguyen Nam Son

Instructions not available

Original image on Flickr

 

Here’s a different and equally awesome Nine-Tailed Fox model and it’s also folded from just one sheet of paper.

Origami Nine-Tailed Fox

Kyubi, Designed by Tuấn Phạm and Folded by NGUYỄN QUANG ANH

Instructions not available

Original image on Flickr

 

This next model is a wild boar spirit called Inoshishigami. I’ve seen it represented before in Japanese mythology but I can’t really find much information about it online.

This origami Inoshishigami was designed by Satoshi Kamiya and is folded from one sheet of paper.

Origami Inoshishigami

Inoshishigami, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Alex Satsukawa

Diagrams available in Works of Satoshi Kamiya 1995-2003

Original image on Flickr

 

Kei Morisue made an origami version of the White Hare of Inaba who tried to trick a group of crocodiles into making a bridge with their bodies so it could reach an island. Both this crocodile and the hare are folded from the same single sheet of paper.

Origami White Hare of Inaba

White Hare of Inaba, Designed by Kei Morisue and Folded by sakuryu(╯3╰)

Diagrams available in the Tanteidan 2011 Special Issue

Original image on Flickr

 

Here’s another great Japanese looking scene by Magali.

Origami Like in a Dream

Like in a Dream, Pagoda Designed by Setsuko Yamashina and Folded by Magali

Diagrams available in Works of Origami Four Seasons – Memories

Original image on Flickr

 

Shibaraku is one of the most popular Kabuki plays in Japan. The plot of the play revolves around the main character Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa a famous historical warrior known for his bravery. The word Shibaraku means “stop a moment” and the play gets its name from a scene where a samurai is being attacked by several villains. Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa shouts “Shibaraku!” (stop a moment) from behind the curtain before coming out, defeating the villains and saving the samurai.

Hojyo Takashi designed an amazing origami model based on this character. Every part of this model including the sword is folded from one sheet of paper.

Origami Shibaraku

Shibaraku, Designed by Hojyo Takashi and Folded by Mariano Zavala B.

Crease pattern available in World of Super Complex Origami

Original image on Flickr

 

Origami Shibaraku

Shibaraku, Designed by Hojyo Takashi and Folded by Tong Liu

Crease pattern available in World of Super Complex Origami

Original image on Flickr

 

Here are some excellent photos of the model from multiple angles.

Origami Shibaraku

Shibaraku, Designed by Hojyo Takashi and Folded by Nguyen Nam Son

Crease pattern available in World of Super Complex Origami

Original image on Flickr

 

Origami Shibaraku

Shibaraku, Designed by Hojyo Takashi and Folded by Dzmitry Lysiuk

Crease pattern available in World of Super Complex Origami

Original image on Flickr

 

In Japanese mythology Yatagarasu is a three-legged crow or raven that is a symbol of the will of heaven or of divine intervention in human affairs. Satoshi Kamiya designed an excellent Yatagarasu model using one sheet of paper.

Origami Yatagarasu

Yatagarasu, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by P. Colman

Diagrams available in Tanteidan Magazine #157

Original image on Flickr

 

Origami Yatagarasu

Yatagarasu, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Nguyen Nam Son

Diagrams available in Tanteidan Magazine #157

Original image on Flickr

 

Origami Yatagarasu

Yatagarasu, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Mariano Zavala B.

Diagrams available in Tanteidan Magazine #157

Original image on Flickr

 

Here’s a third Japanese scene by Magali.

Travelling with Paper

Dragonflies and Garden Lantern Designed by Setsuko Yamashina, Grass Designed by Shoko Aoyagi all Folded by Magali

Instructions not available

Original image on Flickr

 

Here are two excellent origami sumo wrestlers with a great colour change in the design.

Origami Sumo Wrestlers

Sumo Wrestler, Designed by Yoo Tae Yong and Folded by Eyal

Crease pattern available from Yoo Tae Yong’s Flickr

Original image on Flickr

 

Kendo is a Japanese martial art based on sword fighting. It uses bamboo swords and very distinctive looking protective armour.

Hojyo Takashi has designed an excellent origami model of a Kendo practitioner wearing the traditional armour and very distinctive helmet.

Origami Kendo

Kendo Warrior, Designed by Hojyo Takashi and Folded by Mariano Zavala B.

Instructions not available

Original image on Flickr

 

Noh is a major form of Japanese musical drama. This next model is of a Noh player wearing traditional clothes.

Origami Noh Player

Noh Player, Designed and Folded by Yoshimasa Tsuruta

Crease pattern available from Yoshimasa Tsuruta’s Flickr

Original image on Flickr

 

Our final model for this post is this incredible origami Sanada Yukimura. Sanada Yukimura was a Japanese samurai who is famous for being the general on the defending side of the Siege of Osaka.

Sanada Yukimura was called “a Hero who may appear once in a hundred years” and “Crimson Demon of War” which makes the red paper used in this model an excellent choice.

It’s definitely worth noting that this entire model is folded from one sheet of paper!

Origami Sanada Yukimura

Sanada Yukimura, Designed and Folded by Yoshimasa Tsuruta

Instructions not available

Original image on Flickr

 

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