Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Man With 15,000 Pieces of Chopstick-Wrapper Origami

WE'VE ALL FIDDLED WITH OUR chopstick wrappers when eating out at an Asian restaurant. Creating a chopstick stand is common; folding the paper wrapper into a crane is a bit more advanced. In Japan, the practice is particularly widespread. So much so that six years ago, Yuki Tatsumi began collecting the little origami sculptures left behind, and now has around 15,000.

 Tipping isn't a common practice in Japan, but Tatsumi came to consider the tiny works of art as a symbol of appreciation from diners. "What I once considered trash had now become a treasure, a tip from the customer!" he says, adding that many Japanese people are taught origami as children.

 Keeping an eye out for the little sculptures made his job more enjoyable, and his collection grew to the point that he decided to go all-in. He called the project Japanese Tip, and traveled around Japan collecting chopstick-wrapper origami from restaurants.


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