Origami (pronounced or-i-GA-me) is the Japanese art of paperfolding. "Ori" is the Japanese word for folding and "kami" is the Japanese word for paper. It began in China in the first or second century and then spread to Japan sometime during the sixth century.

At first, there was very little paper available so only the rich could afford to do paperfolding. As easier papermaking methods were developed, paper became less expensive. Origami became a popular art for everyone. In 1797, How to Fold 1000 Cranes was published. This book contained the first written set of origami instructions. The crane was considered a sacred bird in Japan and it was a Japanese custom that if a person folded 1,000 cranes, they would be granted one wish. Origami became a very popular form of art in Japan.

The Paper Crane, Todd Olson, origami, crane, commission art, art, reptiles, star wars

In 1845, another book, Window on Midwinter, was published which included a collection of approximately 150 origami models. This book introduced the model of the frog which is a very well known model today. With the publication of these books, the folding of origami became recreation in Japan.

Today, master paperfolders can be found in many places around the world.