Japanese Paper Art Rooted in Culture

Folding to Painting

Paper-Making at The Heart of Traditional Japanese Art

Japanese paper art is rooted in culture.

Chances are you’ve seen Japanese art somewhere – perhaps in a museum, advertisement, textbook. Maybe you’ve visited Japan and had an opportunity to experience the country’s art culture up close and personal. Art can be found almost everywhere you go.¬†

Classic Japanese¬†art covers a wide variety of genres. Origami, paper folding, is one of the most famous papercrafts. That’s how I got my start – Mrs. Matsui’s Origami (handmade paper creations) is a business I own today.

Ikebana image
The woman is this Chigirie is an Ikebana student. She’s learning Ikebana, the art of flower arranging, yet another traditional art form that’s widely practiced in Japan and throughout the world. I watched intently during a trip to Japan as this student created a flower arrangement. Chigirie Art by Joan Mead-Matsui


Origami is a popular art form practiced by children and adults.
Learn Origami. Photo courtesy of 16 Amazing Origami Pieces To Celebrate … demilked.com

But there are so many other art forms that also date back to ancient times. Pottery and sculpture, Sumi-e (ink painting), woodblock prints, calligraphy on silk and paper, and of course, Chigirie (or Chigiri-e) Japanese Torn Paper Collage Art are among the best-known examples.

Paper making is one of Japan’s greatest cultural and artistic accomplishments. Paper is used in many Japanese art. Image courtesy of Kyodo News.

So, you see, Japan is the home to a myriad of artistic styles and influences that are still immensely popular today. Within each of those genres are variations, i.e. Origami paper, which is used to dress Japanese paper dolls in brightly-colored traditional kimonos and gift wrap, which uses distinctive folds that similar to Origami patterns I’ve seen.

Origami paper photo courtesy of bestjapan.tokyo

In many cases, Japanese art forms have been practiced for thousands of years but for the most part, they all adhere to two principles: simplicity and harmony with nature. Handmade paper is so versatile it’s often the medium of choice.

Take a class at chigirie.com and learn painting with paper.



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