In this interview, we would like to introduce the representative of ORIORI Project, Ms. Sakaki Akane to you. She is running the project to collect ten thousand origami cranes and to hold an origami crane exhibition in 2020.
（Ms. Akane is the second in the bottom from left）
It was in the summer of 2018 that I first knew Ms. Akane when I was working, I saw the evening paper article about ORIORI project published by the Kyoto Shimbun.
Ms. Akane’s project has a lot of common features with our emotenashi project, for example, “Opening the exhibition in 2020”, and “Communicating with the world through Japanese culture,” etc. So I would like to interview her. And then, I asked Ms. Akane who live in Kyoto to interview about her project. She was kind enough to accept my offer and I interviewed her by Skype.
“Make people all over the world smile through origami in Japan” … We will introduce her roots and her thoughts for ORIORI project.
ーWhat do you do？
Now, I design various things, for example, spatial design.
I started this job as a freelance since I graduated from a university. Mainly, I receive work requests from my friends and acquaintances.
―What did you major in at the university?
I majored in crafts at Kyoto University of Arts and Crafts (京都美術工芸大学) and learned about traditional crafts there.
－When did you become interested in traditional crafts？
My parents have had a high impact on me.
My father is a cook, my mother is a hair stylist and my sister is a game programmer. All members of my family have a handcraft skill. It has influenced me and I have had naturally a consciousness that I would have handwork since I was a child.
My mother’s hair salon is next door to my home and I have often seen that the hair salon’s guests became beautiful and left the salon since I was a child. So I have been wanting to get a creative job that made smiles people and me.
Originally I liked furniture, especially traditional crafts so I selected the traditional craft’s course when I became a university student.
－When did you start this ORIORI project？
This project started in May 2018.
―You began this project almost immediately after graduation! Why did you start this project？
Firstly, I wanted to” go abroad” after graduation so I didn’t think of doing a project.
The experience of learning traditional crafts from craftsmen at university made me start to want to go abroad. When I entered university, I wanted to be a craftsman. As I learned traditional crafts from craftsmen, I changed gradually my mind. Finally, I wanted more strongly to be a person who could connect between craftsmen and customers than.
As I considered how to spread Japanese traditions and craftsmen, I realized contradiction to my status that I said “I want to spread good points of Japanese culture to people all over the world”, but I knew only Japanese culture. So I started to want to know abroad culture.
――When you graduated university, your goal was going abroad, didn’t you？
However, I also had another thought. While it lifted my mood that I would go abroad, I began to think strongly how to be able to send something Japanese culture from myself, not only did I receive abroad cultures.
－The reason why she started to think ORIORI project was because two Italian came to a share house that she lived.
When the Italian came to the share house in 2017 winter, there was chocolate wrapping paper by chance. I made origami cranes from the wrapping paper and presented them. And then, they were very impressed than I expected.
They said “We would like to make it by myself.”, and finally, we made origami cranes together. At that time, I realized that it was Japanese culture.
On the following day, when they left the share house, they said: “Akane, please write a message on this crane.” We wrote messages on it together. I felt it was beautiful that people created origami cranes and wrote their thought in the cranes. At that time, I thought this was what I had been wanting.
I had an idea of “writing one’s thought in origami cranes” from it. This was the beginning of ORIORI project.
－Making the establishment of an ORIORI project’s style, during hitchhiking from Kyoto prefecture to Yamaguchi prefecture.
At that time, I was going home at Yamaguchi Prefecture by hitchhiking from Kyoto prefecture…haha.
During hitchhiking, I asked drivers, who put me into their car, to make an origami crane and to write their dream in the crane…..However, they all refused my request.
I said to them “Could you write your dream in this origami crane.”, and then, they said “Hum…I don’t have a dream.”, or “It is so shame for me.” etc.
Finally, when we arrived at our destination, they all wrote their dream in origami cranes, for example, “I hope that all of my family will be happy.”, “I would like to go to the Sagrada Familia” etc.
――Firstly, they all refused, but finally, they all accepted… It is a great experience.
At that time, I felt that the reason why those happened is that they could have had time to face themselves.
From this experience, I thought of a frame that the time making an origami crane was the time to face myself. And then, the frame became the style of ORIORI project that people made origami cranes and wrote their dream in the crane.
――The experiences of the share house and your hitchhiking are the origins of ORIORI project, didn’t it!
Yes！I think it is very wonderful if people share the time to face themselves and their dream, and become happy together!
This project started from this thought.
－The progress of ORIORI project
Now (December 29th, 2018), ORIORI project have collected 1,100 origami cranes.
Our project’s objective is to collect 10,000 origami cranes by 2020…..so, it is not enough yet.
Until now, I have collected origami cranes from near me. From now on, I am establishing branches of this project and collecting origami cranes with the ORIORI’s members.
Students of the Kanto cooperate ORIORI project, so I am making the first branch in the Kanto. And then, I would like to set “a day of ORIORI” regularly that everybody can participate in this project and make an origami crane together. I plan to collect origami cranes in this way.
－Please tell us the image of an origami crane exhibition in 2020！
I would like to make a road from a curtain of 10,000 origami cranes that were connected by one string and an exhibition’s space where people, who will visit this exhibition during Tokyo Olympic 2020, will be able to participate in this project.
－Finally, could you send a message to this interview’s readers
Japanese origami can be made regardless of skill degree and can be unsuccessful. Additionally, anyone can make anything. I see tremendous potential in this traditional crafts.I would like to make opportunities that people all over the world write their thoughts and dream in this nice Japanese origami through this project.
I really hope that people all over the world will realize the good points of Japanese “origami” by this project.
Finally, I think that everyone in the world has the right to being a smile…..I really want to make “a space to make everyone smile” through this ORIORI project.
After interviewing her by Skype, I, Mr. Tanaka, really sympathized with her thought and I became to really want to meet her. And then, I went to go to Yamaguchi Prefecture, where her home is, for meeting her with Mr. Ryohei. I and Mr. Ryohei went to her home and sent directly her portrait and origami cranes. (Ms. Akane, thank you for adjusting your schedule to accept my sudden offer.)
Before meeting her, we thought that she must be a tall and strict woman like a general image of a project leader. However, when we met her in reality, we understood her sociable, kind personality. She was a charming woman!
Her nice personality is the most impressive thing for me. She is a really strong-willed woman and attractive.
Our emotenashi team’s members are looking forward to walking the road made by 10,000 origami cranes in 2020!
Ms. Akane, thank you very much for sharing your time twice.
2019.01.04 interviewer by Mr. Tanaka
＜Details of ORIORI project＞
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