kira Yoshizawa, a master paper folder widely acclaimed as the father of modern origami, died on March 14, his 94th birthday, at a hospital near his home in Ogikubo, a suburb of Tokyo.
The cause was complications of pneumonia, said June Sakamoto, a board member of Origami USA, based in New York.
Internationally recognized since the 1950’s, Mr. Yoshizawa was credited with elevating a children’s pastime into a serious form of figurative art. He was known both for his innovative folding techniques and for devising a notation system that made origami instructions universally accessible. Usually inspired by the natural world, his work was praised for its simple, elegant lines and striking animacy. In his hands, flat sheets sprang to life as the birds of the air, the fish of the sea and the flora and fauna of the earth.