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Akira Yoshizawa
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    (March 14, 1911-March 14, 2005)
    Born in Kaminokawa, Japan
    Origami artist
    Created over 50,000 origami models
    Pioneered the wet folding technique
    Named to the Order of the Rising Sun by Emperor Hirohito (1983)
    After he quit a factory job to become an artist, he supported himself by selling fish products door to door.
    His first commercial success was a series of origami models of the symbols of the Japanese zodiac (1951).
    After that, he finally got in touch with an American admirer of his work who had been sending him letters, since he previously had been unable to afford postage stamps.
    He was so moved over how realistic his model of a rice plant was that he cried over it.
    While working as a factory draftsman, he used origami to teach geometry to junior employees.
    While serving in the army medical corps during WWII, he made origami models to cheer up sick patients.
    His wet folding technique resulted in finished models with a rounder, sculpted look.
    He developed a notation system to make origami instructions easier to follow.
    His origami models were exhibited at the Louvre (1998).
    The New York Times wrote, 'In his hands, flat sheets of paper sprang to life as the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and the flora and fauna of the earth.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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