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Word Count: 637
Since about the first century AD the time when it is believed that paper was first invented in China people have been folding paper into various shapes The Chinese developed some simple forms some of which survive down to this day When the secret of paper was carried to Japan in the sixth century AD by Buddhist monks it was quickly integrated into their culture Paper was used in architecture and in the many rituals of everyday Japanese life and of the Shinto religion In fact the word for paper kami is a homonym for the word for spirit or god The designs associated with Shintoist ceremony have remained unchanged over the centuries The Japanese transmitted their designs via an oral tradition with the recreational designs being passed from mother to daughter Because nothing was ever written down only the simplest designs were kept The first written instructions appeared in AD 1797 with the publication of the Senbazuru Orikata How to Fold One Thousand Cranes The Kan no mado Window on Midwinter a comprehensive collection of traditional Japanese figures was published in 1845 The name origami was coined in 1880 from the words oru to fold and kami paper Previously the art was called Orikata Meanwhile paper folding was also being developed in Spain Arabs brought the secret of paper making to North Africa and in the eight-century AD the Moors brought that secret to Spain The Moors were devoutly Muslim and their religion forbade the creation of representational figures Instead their paperfolding was a study of the geometries inherent in the paper After the Moors were driven out of Spain during the Inquisition the Spanish went beyond the geometric designs and developed papiroflexia an art this is still popular in Spain and Argentina Modern creative paper folding as opposed to repetitions of traditional designs owes its existence to Akira Yoshizawa Beginning in the 1930s Yoshizawa has created tens
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