Really old trees are really amazing! If I get a chance this weekend, I will go hiking somewhere nice with old-growth forest northwest of Tokyo. Could be tricky to find though, as much of what we see today is planted or restored forest areas, and you'll rarely see magnificent trees with huge trunks and foliage reaching for the clouds.
Near many shrines in Japan however, there are special, sacred trees decorated with hemp ropes and white paper ornaments. This garland is actually easy to make, and can be a fun thing for the kids to try. How to do it? Read on after the fold:How to fold an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper into a zigzag ornament for sacred trees:
* Paper (recycled, of course)
* Fold paper in half, hot dog style. Cut ¾ inch slits into the paper's alternating long sides (every 1/2 inch).
* Fold flaps ("fold and flip, fold and flip") to make the stairs-shaped ornament.
* Hang on a string or rope, preferably made of hemp, and find a tree to decorate!
The British Origami Society has more information about the zigzag paper ornaments, that are called O-shide, Go-hei, and Harai gushi in Japanese. The ornaments can also be found on small home altars or on the portable shrines that are carried around during festivals.
Brought to you by Martin J Frid at greenz.jp