PCA Students Learn Ancient Japanese Art of Origami

Under the instruction of Mrs. Ichiko Harju, a group of three PCA students are learning the ancient art of origami in the Kaleidoscope afterschool program. In one of the recent origami sessions, students spent hours carefully folding colored paper to construct crowns.

Made up of two Japanese words – oru (to fold) and kami (paper) – origami was called orikata when it was first developed. Around 1880 the name was changed to origami.

In a recent interview, Mrs. Harju shared her perspective on this ancient craft and being a PCA instructor:

Q: How did you learn origami?

A: I grew up in Japan where all children learn origami starting in kindergarten.

Q: How long have you been doing origami?

A: I have been sharing origami with children at local schools for over 20 years.

Q: Do you teach any other Kaleidoscope classes?

A: I also give private piano lessons through the Kaleidoscope program. This is my seventh year at PCA. I love to teach piano because it allows me to help students develop a gift which was given to them by God. When we learn to play the piano, we discover the wonderful mechanisms such as muscle memory that God built into our bodies when He created us. When we’ve developed this gift, we are able to speak a language (music) which can touch people all over the world.

Q: What is your favorite part of origami?

A: My favorite part of origami is that one flat sheet of paper turns into a 3D shape. I personally find Origami very therapeutic. It helps calm my mind!

Q: What is your favorite thing you ever made about origami?

A: My favorite project I have ever made is an origami pen holder. It is made up of about 500 small pieces. The assembling part was very challenging, but I loved it when I finally finished making it!