Google Doodle honours origami master Akira Yoshizawa

Google has marked the 101st anniversary of the birth of the origami grandmaster Akira Yoshizawa with a new doodle.

The search engine giant dedicated the doodle to pay tribute to the Japanese-born Yoshizawa, with letters in the doodle turned into paper butterflies representing the art form, made popular by Yoshizawa.

Google Doodle honours origami master Akira Yoshizawa


Yoshizawa was born in 1911 to dairy farming parents but moved to Tokyo when he was just 13 where he started working in a tool factory.

In his early 20s, he was promoted to a technical draftsman and used origami, a skill he had acquired as a child, as a tool to teach younger employees basic geometry.

Yoshizawa left the factory in the mid-1930s to pursue his passion for art and, for more than two decades, lived in poverty selling preserved fish door-to-door. But in 1951, a Japanese magazine commissioned him to fold the 12 signs of the Japanese zodiac to illustrate its next issue which catapulted him on to the international stage.

His work has since been exhibited around the world and he has published more than a dozen books on the art form.

According to his own estimation made in 1989, he created more than 50,000 models, of which only a few hundred designs were diagrammed in his 18 books.

Yoshizawa died from complications caused by pneumonia at a hospital in his home town of Ogikubo, Tokyo, in March 2005.

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