Origata

The Origata traces its roots to AD 690, the first "Shikinen-sengu (The ritual of reconstraction every 20 years )" in Grand shrine Ise.

 

On that ritual the officiant "Saigu" who were daughters of  the Emperor, offered abalone  to *Kami. It signifies their gratitude for the blessings of Nature. These abalone were wrapped with Origata to cleanse earthly life and to symbolize the sincerity of human feelings towards the Kami

On the 14th century, Muromachi period, Ashikaga Shogunate family, the military governor of Japan, adapt the protocol of Origata into the gift between the human. There is "Sangi itto", the book of protocol by Ogasawara family, the master of protocol for shogunate family.

The Origata is composed by the art of folding the enveloping paper and a knot of mizuhikis, fine Japanese strings of minutely twisted red and white paper. These two colors represent the Yin and Yang ; once tied, they symbolize the birth of a new thing, being or event. So this knot is not a mere ornament, but invokes a relationship between two persons.

Several elements are combined to create the language of Origata

  • The paper type, called Danshi paper or Hoshoshi, is traditionally biological and hand-made ​​from the wood of tree trunks. Each sheet is used only once. The resultant finely-twisted cords are dedicated for use only for the ritual of making Origata.

  • The art of folding the sheet is known as "Ori" .

  • The type of knot is called "Musubi".

  • The number of cords used.

The alliance of these 4 elements creates the language of Origata that allows to transmit the movements of the heart of a person offering a gift.
At the end of the Edo period, in the nineteenth century, there were more than 2000 forms of Origata and an informed person could guess what a package contained simply by looking at its shape.
 
From the beginning of the Edo era, in the 17th century, the Origata was used in the family of Shogun, the military governor of Japan, as well as in the imperial family to symbolize their courtesy and generosity. Origata has become the crystallization of the movements of the heart and a peak of Japanese refinement.
 
* The Kami designates the indefinable soul / spirit of nature in the Shintoism.
The Origata for Imperial family from French company.
For Imperial family there is special Mizuhiki made by Kurenai.
It looks black but if we touch it turns red. This Mizuhiki is restricted to use only for imperial family.
Ichibei Iwano IX, the artisan of Washi in Fukui, is the living national treasure of  Japan. Pablo Picasso used his father’s paper for his lithograph.  We use his paper in the ceremony.
Yoshiyuki Nonomura is the last artisan of Mizuhiki by hand in Iida. We use  his Mizuhiki in ceremony.