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What Can Inspire You to Design Origami -Interview with Tomoko Fuse post image

In the course I teach, Think Like an Origami Designer, one of the topics we’ve discussed is how to find the inspiration to create origami.

A while back, I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Tomoko Fuse, creator of an origami monkey presented on Origami Spirit. She is one of the origami creators I most admire and she has authored many delightful instructional books.

I interviewed Tomoko Fuse on camera, but unfortunately the microphone wasn’t working very well and our discussion was very hard to understand. Here is a transcription of some of the questions I asked Ms. Fuse and her kind responses. One of those questions had to do with what inspires her when creating origami.

Read on! I think you’ll find some inspiration too!

LT. How did you become interested in origami?

TF. When I was a child at some point I was ill and didn’t go to school. So my father bought me an origami book. It was a book by Yoshizawa. In my bed, all by myself, I folded everything. It was a big joy and I forgot about time. I just folded and that was my starting point.

LT. Before having that book, had you ever folded something?

TF. When I was young so many children were going to kindergarten that I couldn’t go. At school children were taught how to fold figures and they showed them to me, but I didn’t do anything.

LT. As origami enthusiasts many of us have learned from your well diagramed instructional books. How did you became interested in making origami books?

TF. When I got acquainted with unit origami, my origami work was started. Before then, I just folded simple models, but when I found unit origami it became big for me.

LT. When you design modular origami do you need to use math?
TF. I’m not a mathematician, I’m a normal Japanese person. I don’t use math. Origami in itself includes everything. I learn through origami.

LT. Please describe for us a typical day in your life. What does your daily routine look like?

TF. It is the same sequence. I start folding at about 8:30 am. After lunch, my husband and I take an hour-long walk. Then we go back home and I fold perhaps until 7pm.

LT. Do you do some cooking?
TF. My husband is a very good cook. I enjoy eating!

LT. What’s your major source of inspiration?
TF. Folding itself shows and teaches me. For example, today I want to fold a cube, so I start. Then something new begins to emerge and my focus goes in a different direction.

LT. So an earlier origami idea generates a new one…

Yes, my fingers, my paper, they show me, they teach me… I respond to what the paper teaches me.

LT. How has origami contributed to your life?
TF. Origami has shown me another world. It has shown me a beautiful and interesting world. It provides me with a very nice feeling. It feeds my sense of beauty. Origami is a way in which people of all generations, young and all, become friends.

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