Decorative Hexagonal Origami Gift Box with Lid: # 14
This box is one of 20 different boxes for sale by auction on eBay in support of survivors of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan. Click here to visit / to return to the eBay listing [Item number: 120728908875]. The auction for this item closes on Friday the 3rd of June 2011 at 02:46 a.m. British Summer Time (UTC + 1).
Proceeds of the auction - after eBay and PayPal fees have been deducted - will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
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About the Japanese Red Cross Society
The Japanese Red Cross are one of three major fundraising organisaitions based in Japan (the other two being the Japanese broadcaster NHK and the Red Feather Central Community Chest of Japan - originally a post World War II re-building organisation). You can download two english language reports relating to the disaster from the Japanese Red Cross website:
Operations Update No.1 - 13th April 2011 [.pdf file, retrieved 17th May 2011]
Operations Update No.2 - 6th May 2011 [.pdf file, retrieved 17th May 2011]
Over two months on, the needs of many of the survivors remain desperately basic. There has been an increased incidence of pneumonia and associated fatalities. As well as helping with practical and medical requirements, the Japanese Red Cross Society are helping people deal with "Shell Shock" / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and further developing services to address these issues.
Perhaps most impressively, they helped quickly set up a management structure to co-ordinate help from all the major fundraisers, a committee including academics and representatives from the 15 most badly affected prefectures [local governments]. The pre-existing local Red Cross chapters [branches] are helping with governance.
Although Japan has a large economy, and domestically the japanese have been hugely generous towards aid efforts, like everywhere else, many people of course are not personally rich. There is still epic upheaval. Much of welfare is normally provided by family and community, a system that breaks down when whole barrios are fragmented and diminished. Services like adoption and fostering, for example - normally always done by relatives - are having to be developed. A planning policy of building schools on higher ground saved many children, but even after encouraging teachers back out of retirement, there is still a shortage of experienced teachers. Japan is mostly mountains and sea, with very little spare land suitable for building, and so - while rebuilding takes place - temporary accommodation has had to be built on land normally reserved for other activities, for example on school playgrounds.
If you enjoy shopping in support of the Japanese Red Cross Society, you might also like Tomodachi Calling, a cafepress web store / shop (recommend by a fellow flickrer schmid91, who helped document the aftermath of the tsunami in Ishinomaki Myagi prefecture).
Japan based english language online newspapers
About the decorative hexagonal origami gift box
The box is made up from 12 square origami papers - 6 for the lid and 6 for the base. No cutting, glue or adhesive tape is used.
Although Japan has a long tradition of paper folding, the design of the box is modern, by Tomoko Fuse 布施 知子, who is a renown unit origami designer and artist. Unit origami is a method of building up models using pre-folded components or units.
If you are an accurate and consistent paper folder, but are new to unit origami, and you would like to make your own box, I would recommend her book "Origami Boxes: Moribana Style" [# ISBN-10: 0870408216 - # ISBN-13: 978-0870408212] as an excellent introduction. Connecting the units together can be a bit fiddly at first, and the book also includes designs for more simple square and triangular boxes, which give the opportunity to practice and develop the skills needed for doing the final assembly.
(Until Asimo gets a bit more nimble fingered, the box is unlikely to flood the market anytime soon...)
If you get the bug, she has also created and written about very much more complex models. "Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations" [ISBN-10: 0870408526 - ISBN-13: 978-0870408526] is considered a classic text on the subject.
Paper making was a traditional supplemental business of farmers in Japan during the winter. The very cold water during that season enabled the fibres in the pulp to be soaked without becoming subject to decay, and some also argue that cold shrinks the fibres, creating a finer, crisper paper.