Orikata (折形)

Orikata is a term used to refer to techniques of folding a sheet of paper to wrap a gift, which is one aspect of Japanese etiquette and rules.

In the Heian period, gifts started to be wrapped by a sheet of paper when they were presented, and various techniques to fold a sheet of paper were developed, such as Gomashio-zutsumi for Sekihan (Tinted rice with reddish color of azuki beans), Ko-zutsumi, Kane-zutsumi, Ogi-zutsumi, etc. Normally, two sheets of paper are used for auspicious occasions and a sheet of paper is used for ominous occasions.

The royal court in the Heian period, the Kamakura shogunate, and the Muromachi shogunate each had a special gift-related section to study Orikata, as a result of which Orikata techniques, such as Ogasawara-reiho, were developed.

While the wrapping paper used for Orikata varied depending on the period and the school of technique, paper, such as Otakadanshi, Hoshoshi, Minoshi, Hanshi, etc., has been selectively used considering the appropriate level of formality. Decorations using colorful pictures were starting to be provided on the paper. One example is E-hoshoshi, which is a type of Hoshoshi having pictures on its surface. The pictures on the E-hoshoshi, which were originally drawn by hand, were starting to be mass-printed by wood-block printing techniques later, and the E-hoshoshi was developed into Komagami, Chiyogami, etc. in the Edo period.

[Original Japanese]