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Origami



Origami
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.89

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    best-seller, noshi, woodblock, symbolize, intricate, loyalty, wealthy, sacred, unique, material, recreation, artists, especially, design, bamboo, scraps
     content words:    Ts'ai Lun, One Japanese, If Japan, Akira Yoshizawa, Anonymous Origami


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Origami
By Colleen Messina
  

1     If your friend gave you 1,000 cranes, what would you think? You might worry that they wouldn't all fit in your bedroom. Or that the noise would bother your neighbors. Or that your mother would make you clean up after all of them! But, if your friend was Japanese, you could breathe a sigh of relief. You would probably receive a gift of folded paper cranes. According to Japanese tradition, if a person folded 1,000 origami cranes, his or her greatest wish would come true.
 
2     Origami involves only one simple material: paper. The artist folds it into amazing shapes. Ts'ai Lun of China invented paper in about 105 A. D. Historians believe that paper folding started soon after that. The first paper was made from tree bark and rags. Later, paper was made from bamboo. Since mothers passed the knowledge of origami to their daughters by word of mouth, no one knows the details of its history.
 
3     Origami came to Japan in the sixth century. Ori is the Japanese word for folding. Kami is the Japanese word for paper. Paper was only available to wealthy people. Only the rich could do paper folding at first. Samurai warriors used origami to make a gift called a noshi. A noshi was a piece of paper folded with a strip of dried meat or fish. Noshi was considered a gift that brought good luck. The Samurai also used origami to make gifts for weddings. They folded paper into the shape of a butterfly. Then, they wrapped it around a glass of rice wine. Origami was used at births, weddings, and funerals. The delicate figures were cherished for many years.

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