Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

NEIU Independent

Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

NEIU Independent

Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

NEIU Independent

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International Club Presents Japanese Culture with Kento’s Origami Presentation

In the International Club meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, Japanese exchange student, Kento Ogawa, kicked off the meeting with a presentation about the Japanese art form, origami.

Origami is the art made out of one or more square pieces of paper with accuracy and patience. By folding a paper, combining or separating them on occasion, we can be creative and can change the shape of the paper in whatever ways needed for the chosen outcome. Some common forms made through origami are related to animals; for example, bunny and crane, and also the traditional Japanese war helmet called “kabuto”. Throughout the presentation we were guided through the making of a four-leaf clover out of one square paper. 

According to the website called my modern met, the origami derives from not only Japanese roots, but also Chinese and European roots. Accustoming with four different seasons, landscape of irrigation, and folding clothes after washing, these living and chores are turned into a piece of paper, and this is how origami was evolved.

From the point of view of one Japanese person, origami, in my opinion, really does represent the Japanese spirit of worship tradition. Japanese people often inherit traditional buildings, family, behavior and ways of moving into the future. We also inherit these ideals  by using only a piece of paper, through origami.

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In this meeting, I made origami art for the first time in more than 10 years. The last time I was in preschool or elementary school at three to seven years old). However, through the presentation and activity I was reminded of the traditional spirit of Japanese people again. Besides getting to know about origami and the traditional spirit of Japanese people, such as being patient, being considerate to others, and being precise, this sort of demonstration can fuel more interest for non-Japanese people to learn about Japan.

Japanese society is filled with patience and respect. Showing this by art is a traditional alternative to oral communication, and can be inherited year by year. Learning about Japan, even as it is my own culture, was interesting.

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