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Show combines origami, life lessons

Origami Tales is as much about tales as it is about origami — tales of magic, respect and morality emerging from Japan.

BY THE STARPHOENIX (SASKATOON) JUNE 6, 2008 BE THE FIRST TO POST A COMMENT

Origami Tales is as much about tales as it is about origami — tales of magic, respect and morality emerging from Japan.

Kuniko Yamamoto beautifully weaves her original language and culture together with feats of folding paper. Ori, she tells us, means fold; gami means paper.

“Just a piece of paper,” she told the crowd at a Thursday performance. “Fold once, fold twice, and I made a kite.”

The kite then turns into a fish, a penguin and a boat, with a simple deft move for each. Later, a crown becomes a bird with working wings; a world made of six bits of coloured paper explodes into the air as butterflies.

Some of Yamamoto’s tricks are simply that. A child volunteer holds an oversized playing card, facing Ace-side out, by a flap. By the time Yamamoto folds it a few times, the card faces back-side out. It’s quite amazing.

Equally amazing is her flute-accompanied story about making a wish and folding 1,000 paper cranes to make it come true. As she plays, the little crane on the table begins to levitate, then briefly flies about. It’s a lovely story about hope and peace, with a pretty trick to surprise the children.

There’s a morality tale about learning to become wise, and a Japanese version of the Rock, Paper, Scissors game, featuring a fox, a hunter and people. It, too, has a message. People beat hunter, because people control guns; guns don’t control people, she tells the children.

She left the most spectacular feat until the end, a magical manipulation of a simple bamboo mat. With seemingly simple twists and turns, the mat shape-shifts into a fishing rod and a fish; a rainbow; and two long streamers that swirl out of her hands.

Yamamoto had her audience oohing and aahing at her origami and bamboo feats, while she slipped in lovely lessons about life.

Origami Tales

Today, 10 and 11:30 a.m.

St. John’s Hall

Box office 664-3378

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