The Art and Wonder of Origami : Kunihiko Kasahara

Apple Press 136 pages softback ISBN1-84543-061-1

This is a translation of a Japanese book published earlier year and how wonderful to be able to read the text! With an author as experienced and origami-wise as Kasahara, what he says is just as important as the models he presents. The book covers three areas that the author has a keen interest in; puzzles, traditional origami and cubes. The former uses the yakko-san and pinwheel bases to present a variety of subjects, along with some very simple and elegant puzzles.

The traditional section not only presents both well-known and obscure designs, but discusses how they were created and, more importantly, what creative possibilities they offer. In this way, the technique to fold a simple flower box is applied to several of Froebel’s “basic forms” to produce a huge array of flower boxes. A wide variety of cubes follow, combining mathematics, philosophy and creativity to show a subject you may have thought you knew in a new light. You get puzzles, solutions, inspiration and many, many creative ideas. An ingenious “magic cube” transforms from sailboat to octopus to goldfish to angelfish to bird laying an egg to parrot and finally Japanese river monster!

In the final chapter, Kasahara presents “cube art”, where each face of a modular cube has a subject depicted on it. The basis for this is a variant on the pinwheel base from which the author has already created over 200 different subjects! Throughout the book, Kasahara shares his insights and knowledge to make even the most familiar origami come alive. As if that weren’t enough, you get a CDrom full of videos, puzzles, slide shows, artwork and much more.

Published price is £10.99, but you can buy online at under £8 including free delivery – what a world we live in. This book sets new standards in “serious” origami literature and I can think of few, if any other people in the world who could have written it. I consider it a “must have” in any origami library and perhaps Kasahara’s finest book since “Creative Origami”.