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Origami Tessellations by Momotani!

I was tipped off to some origami tessellations by Momotani (Yoshiide Momotani, I think) that were on display at a French origami meeting in May 2006. Here’s a link to the photo album:

I’m hotlinking the two most relevant images below- these will take you to the specific image pages on the photo gallery. There’s a lot of great tessellations here, quite a few of which various members of our origami tessellation group have been folding in the last couple of years. I’ve never seen any of these before, but I have to imagine that Momotani-san has been folding these sorts of things for decades now. It just goes to show you that there’s very little in the geometric origami world that someone else hasn’t thought of before, or folded before, completely independent of what you’ve been up to.

I can only hope I have a chance some day to meet this tessellation maker and admire some of the beautiful art. Anyone with more information on where I could see some more of Momotani’s tessellations, please contact me and let me know!

Momotani tessellations 1

Momotani tessellations 2


  1. wow now that is awsome!
    that Molecular model looks fun and all THE TESSELATIONS!!!AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  2. Dave Brill says

    Dear Eric

    Momotani has included diagrams for a number of his tessellations in several of his books. The most famous and perhaps most underrated Momotani t. design is the wall which is in DOLL’S HOUSE WITH ORIGAMI, and there are lots also in MOLECULAR MODELS WITH ORIGAMI, both available from OUSA Source.
    Many of Momotani’s t’s are molecular represatations of viruses. He’s a retired biologist.

    Here’s a link from Silke Schroder’s Vierck Verlag supplies operation with pictures from the latter:

    Silke’s stock range is impressive: she speaks good English if you don’t do German and you’ll get great and prompt service from her. (Incidentally it’s her 50th birthday celebrations with husband Paulo Mulatinho this weekend!)

    Momotani always claimed that he discovered the twist folding technique indepndently of Fujimoto: I recall a being at a rather tetchy meeting of the 2 in Kyoto in 1980! Certainly some Momotani books of the ’70’s show some other flat sheet patterns, but I wouldn’t like to get involved in a pointless argument about who was first! I also have an early publication by Fujimoto from the same era, covering similar territory…..

    I recommend you fold the Momotani wall (see Doll’s House book above) which is a wonderful classic with a great folding climax… only a little precreasing,and the formation of the bricks happens almost automatically.



  3. Mélisande says

    Thank you Dave !
    I had no clues about these books and their contents.

    I concur for Momotani’s wall, it’s a great design.
    A while ago, I reverse-engineered it from a picture, and months later by chance I saw this castle diagram, which actually uses the same pattern !

  4. Administrator says

    Much wonderful information here, I need to do some more research, it seems.

    I know I’ve seen Momotani’s book (that you link to above) before- and I did! I actually even linked to it a few months back:

    However, I was unable to purchase it at the time, so perhaps I’ll be able to go through the vendor you have linked to. Thanks for the info!

    I’m quite interested in learning more about Momotani’s folding, as it seems more accessible than Fujimoto’s work, so thusly it actually *exists* in a form that I can get to without doing cross-Pacific gymnastics.


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