Virtual Origami Tutorial Series with Ashley Nishihara

This summer, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) held a virtual tutorial series on origami with Hawaii’s Origami Swami, Ashley Nishihara. This program was created in place of some of our in-person educational programs, including Japan Day and Japan-in-a-Suitcase, which were cancelled or postponed since March due to the ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic. We were thrilled to have a wide range of participants from children to adults not only from Hawaii, but also from the mainland, Japan and even Central America!

During the second tutorial titled “Storygami 101” held on Friday, July 17, 2020, over 20 attendees made a penguin, a heart brooch and a rabbit while listening to a collection of fun short stories. As the name implies, “storygami” is a combination of storytelling and origami, where the story is told, while the paper is being folded simultaneously to reflect what is happening in each story, fulfilling the same role that illustrations do. Our instructor, Ashley explains “this dynamic method of teaching origami engages people of all ages, especially young children who might find it difficult to adhere to the highly technical step-by-step process origami instruction usually entails.”

At our final session on Friday, July 24, 2020, participants enjoyed a longer storygami called “The Wishin’ Magician” by Rachel Katz, where they folded a duck, and a bonus mystery origami with interactive questions and answers.

Ashley has been doing origami since age six and taught origami at Le Jardin Academy’s after school program for seven years. She is one of the organizers of the Hawaii Origami Club and volunteers at various events including JASH’s Japan Day and Japan Wizards Competition since 2014 to introduce the art of origami to Hawaii’s youth.

JASH would like to express a big MAHALO to Ashley for providing fun and educational origami tutorials for our members and students. We hope to offer more virtual educational programs so please stay tuned!