Star Sonobe (Design by Maria Sinayskaya)

Star Sonobe (Design by Maria Sinayskaya)
Star Sonobe (Design by Maria Sinayskaya)

I moved to Brussels, Belgium on work recently and I experienced for the first time a complete lockdown of an entire city. I was amazed at the residents’ response to the tense situation with the kittens and messages on social media. It was a nice gesture to keep people’s minds off the tension and goings on that night. Things are slowly getting back to normal with most commercial establishments, schools etc opening up today. It was the longest weekend, I think and we were only too happy to start getting back to normal.

I spent the time this weekend folding a modular design using the kami paper I still had with me. It was a good way to get my mind off things.

This is a pretty design by Maria Sinayskaya, who is well known for her lovely modular origami designs. This model is pretty here easy to fold, however the assembly is slightly tricky. You have got to be careful with the formations of the stars else you would end up having problems putting it all together. The thing to look for is the pattern of 5 spokes, forming the star all around, and if you keep to this, you will never go wrong in your assembly.

Paper to use:
Wrapping paper or regular kami paper which is single side colored will work perfectly for this model. If you do use wrapping paper, it would be a good idea to select a type which is colored plain or uniformly on one side in a single color and with another color and / or design on the other side. This will make the model much more pleasing to the eye and you can also use this as a Christmas decoration. For my rendition, I have used 30 square sheets of 3 inch kami paper, to fold the model.

How to fold:
Sara Adams has recorded a good instructional video post on folding this model. You can also take a look at her Youtube video here:

Hope you enjoy folding this model!


What is Mizuhiki?

Mizuhiki is a colored or dyed paper cords made for the purpose of gift wrapping or tying packages and this art can be traced back to the sixth century AD when ambassadors to China returned home with gifts that were tied with red and white twine as a charm against evil. In Japan, Mizuhiki cords are symbolic in preventing impurities from entering the secured packages. Today, the design and type of Mizuhiki used differs as per their intended usage. It is a significant element of a gift in Japan.

Mizuhiki come in many thicknesses – five-strand, seven-strand, eleven-strand among others, with the five-strand being the most commonly used one. The length usually varies from 18 inches to 6 feet.

Photo courtesy lo tejo

There are 8 color types for Mizuhiki which are most commonly used –

  1. Crimson and white for very formal occasions;
  2. Red and white for general use and auspicious occasions;
  3. Gold and silver for general use, though this combination is mainly used for weddings and other auspicious occasions;
  4. Red and gold which is used in the same way as red and white;
  5. Multicolored for informal usage; and finally
  6. Black and white,
  7. Blue and white, and
  8. All white for funerals and condolences.

Types of knots:

  • For weddings and tragedies such as funerals, which come once and are never to be repeated, a flat knot (musubikiri) is used. The significance of this knot is that once tied it cannot be untied which symbolizes the fact that what has happened will not happen again.
  • At auspicious occasions other than weddings, katawana-musubi or morowana-musubi (based on bows) are the types of mizuhiki knots used.
  • For informal occasions the abalone knot or the detached awabi-musubi knot is used.
  • For happy occasions, the mizuhiki is wrapped around and around the package, which signifies waves breaking on the shore.
  • The reverse (gyaku method) awabi-musubi is used only for Buddhist memorial services and solemn events.

Tying the knots:

  • Always start tying with the lighter or paler cords on the left hand side. Cross them over the darker color on the right hand side.
  • Since mizuhiki is delicate, it is advisable to gently work the area where the knot will be tied prior to tying the knot, to soften the strands slightly.
  • Once tied the mizuhiki cannot be retied, so practicing before tying the final knot is advisable.

– Based on the Books – Gift wrapping: creative ideas from Japan, By Kunio Ekiguchi and The simple art of Japanese paper crafts, By Mari Ono.

Mizuhiki Knot Instructions: