Hana Tsutsumi

The history of paperfolding
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Laura Rozenberg
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:58 pm

Hana Tsutsumi

Post by Laura Rozenberg » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:20 pm

In his entry,"Really Old Origami", David Lister said: "The well-known "tsutsumi" or ceremonial wrappers, used especially for various kinds of flowers, probably date from the Muromachi era (1333 - 1573). However we cannot give any precise dates. Of these folds only the mecho and ocho butterflies have any resemblance whatsoever to modern recreational paperfolding."

However, Ikebana may have a clue on the oldest documents about tsutsumi. In the book Hana Tsutsumi, Mitsuko Kawata points to the Sendensho, a book on Ikebana published in 1445, as having information on how to wrap flowers (hana tsutsumi in Japanese means wrapping flowers). "When offering floral materials as a gift: Wrap the lower ends of branches in paper. Also wrap the lower ends of flower stems in paper. Tie the branches in several places and offer the bouquet with the flowers facing downward. You may at times fold the wrapping paper in the shape of a butterfly or flower, and you should offer the bouquet adorned with red mizuhiki (stiff paper string)".

Until I found this passage, I had the idea that the oldest guide to tsutsumi was the book Tsutsumi-no-ki published in 1764. But the book on Ikebana predates that book a few centuries!

It also means that we do have written confirmation on the type of flower wrapping performed during the Muromachi period.

And most interesting, the date of publication of Sendensho is about the same of the beautiful illuminated book "The Hours of Catherine de Cleves", painted by an anonyomous Flemish artist. (Information about the jewelry box can be found in this forum).

So by mid 15th century (the Renaissance in the West and Muromachi period in Japan), paper folding was already being used to wrap or to box stuff (paper cutting and orthogonal grid in the West -- asymmetric creases in the East).

I will be happy to hear comments or additions on this subject. Thank you.
Laura Rozenberg

Michel G
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:10 pm

Re: Hana Tsutsumi

Post by Michel G » Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:09 pm

Thanks Laura.
It's difficult to react because we don't have example of the Japanese books...
Laura Rozenberg wrote:Until I found this passage, I had the idea that the oldest guide to tsutsumi was the book Tsutsumi-no-ki published in 1764.
I think we can see this book following http://kindai.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/848851 and is possible to upload (in 3 parts because only 20 pages by 20 pages is possible)

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