|The Public Paperfolding History Project
|The Kikuzara / The Japanese Ornamental Ball|
page attempts to record what is known about the origin
and history of the origami design known as the Kikuzara
and its derivative, the Japanese Ornamental Ball. Please
contact me if you know any of this information is
incorrect or if you have any other information that
should be added. Thank you.
The Kikuzara is first pictured in 'Yochien Ombutsu No Zu', a publication of kindergarten material issued by the Tokyo Women's Normal School in 1878.
A drawing of what is probably intended to be the Kikuzara appears in a monozukushi-e print, by an unknown artist, but said to be from the Meiji era. I have temporarily assigned it the date of 1912, the last year of that era, pending the discovery of more accurate information.
This design also appears as 'Christmas Tree Ornament' in 'The World of Origami' by Isao Honda, which was published in the USA by Japan Publications Trading Company in 1965.
The Japanese Ornamental Ball
Diagrams for the Japanese Ornamental Ball first appear in Margaret Campbell's 'Paper Toy Making', which was published by Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Ltd in London, probably in 1937, although both the Foreword and Preface are dated 1936, which argues that the book was complete at that date.
According to the text 'The Japanese make six of these (blintzed bird bases), and sew them together at the points until a complete ball is made. ... A coloured bead finishes off each corner.'
While there seems to be a clear connection between these two designs it is worth noting that the internal flaps of the modules are not developed here in the way they are in the Kikuzara.