Traditional Japanese origami has evolved over many hundreds of years from very basic, ritual objects to the myriad of contemporary designs we see today. The origami bases that are the beginnings of so many models are Japanese in origin. You probably know these bases well - even if you dont know what they are called.
The crane, one of the best known origami models originating from Japan, is made from a bird base - which you can see at step 7 of the instructions:
It is widely believed that origami originated in Japan, even though there was also paperfolding tradition hundreds of years ago in China. However, it was the Japanese form of origami that evolved into the incredibly popular craft it is today, and it is the Japanese words oru (folding), and kami (paper) that are the origin of the word origami.
Many specific models have beginnings that are difficult to trace - we know that some are much older than others, but some we cannot be sure of. What we can be sure of is that it is a beautiful artform, and so fun to do!
Click on the link below to go to the main instructions page for Origami-Fun - where you can see the full list of origami on this site: