The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Last updated 27/2/2024


The Lantern / The Muff
This page is being used to collext information about the history of the paperfolding design known in Western Europe as the Muff and in Japan as the Lantern. 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.


In China (and in publications by Chinese authors)


The Lantern design appears in 'Xu Zhe zhi tu shuo' (More Illustrated Paperfolding) by Yongxiang Shi, which was published by the Commercial Press in Shanghai in 1917.


In Japan (and in publications by Japanese authors)


As far as I know this design first appears as a Lantern in Japan in 'Kindergarten Shoho' (Preliminary Kindergarten) by Iijima Hanjuro, which was copyrighted on October 4th Meiji 17 (1884) and published by Fukuda Senzo in August of Meiji 18 (1885).



The Lantern also appears in 'Kani Shukogaku' (Simple Handicraft) by Tamotsu Shibue, which was published in Tokyo in 1892.



A picture of the design appears, as 'Paper Lantern', in 'Shukouka Kyohon : Liron Jishuu Souga Setsumei' by Kikujiro Kiuchi, Rokushiro Uehara and Hideyoshi Okayama, which was published by Shigebei Takase in Chiba in 1905.


A sequence that converts the Trousers into the Lantern appears in 'Shukoka Kyoju Saian' by Gentaro Tanahashi and Hideyoshi Okayama, which was published by Hobunkan in Tokyo in 1905. The Jacket seems to appear just as an intermediate form.



Diagrams for the Lantern also appear in 'Origami zusetsu' (Illustrated Origami) by Sano Shozo, which was published in Tokyo in 1908.



A drawing of the Lantern appears in an illustration by Takei Takeo in a 1927 issue of the children's magazine 'Kodomo No Kuni' (The Land of Children).



The Lantern also appears in 'Origami: Book One' by Florence Sakade, which was published by the Charles E Tuttle Company in Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo in 1957.


In Europe and the Americas


A design called the Muff first appears in a list of designs in the 'Manuel Pratique de Jardins D'Enfants de Friedrich Froebel', which was compiled by J F Jacobs and published in Brussells and Paris in 1859. From the context this is likely to be the same design as pictured below.



This design also appears in part two of 'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was probably first published by E. Steiger and Company in New York in 1882.



A slight variation appears in part 2 'Die Praxis' of 'Theoretisches und praktisches Handbuch der Fröbelschen Erziehungslehre' by Bertha von Marentholtz-Bülow, which was published by George H Wigand in Kassel in 1887.



The Muff is pictured, but not named, in Eleonore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding', which was first published in Dutch in 1895 then in English by Charles and Dible in London and Glasgow in 1896.



The Muff appears as 'A Waistcoat' in 'Handicraft in the School', which was issued in four volumes by Gresham Publishing in London in 1910.