Sumo Kyushu Basho

Hello Everyone!

Sumo is a traditional and competitive wrestling sport that is very popular in Japan. To win, a wrestler must push his opponent out of the ring or to get any body part, other than the soles of his feet, of his opponent to touch the ground. Below is a picture of two sumo wrestlers.


The Kyushu Basho is one of the Grand Tournaments of Sumo. There are a total of six annual Grand Tournaments. This one is the last tournament for the year and takes place in mid-November in Fukuoka.

Fukuoka is a small city. Many of the locals get excited and enjoy seeing famous Sumo wrestlers around their town. To fully enjoy the tournament, one should get a tatami seat so they could throw their zabuton for when they’re angry. A zabuton is a thin mat that used to sit on tatami floors. Below is a picture of when people threw their zabutons on the Sumo ring.

Crowd throwing their zabuton

The whole tournament is 15 days. The top wrestlers wrestle one day and the lower ranking wrestles the next. Each day the matches are different. Below are some of the pictures of the wrestlers.

Figure 1
Figure 2

It is highly recommended to go and watch a sumo event if there is an opportunity to do so!




Origami Day

Hey everyone!

November 11th is origami day in Japan. This is an unofficial holiday where the paper crane is a well known symbol for peace. In honor of this holiday, today’s post will be about the story of Sadako and her 1000 cranes.

Paper Cranes

Sadako and the 1000 cranes is renowned in Japan and the crane is one of the most well known pieces of origami. Sadako was a young girl when the atom bomb of World War II was dropped. She developed leukemia from the radiation and was admitted into the hospital. To pass the time, she would fold cranes everyday hoping that her wish would come true. The belief is that one thousand cranes would grant one the creator one wish, thus hers was to get better and live.

She died on October 25, 1955 having completed over 1300 cranes. Her brother, Masahiro Sasaki, have donated some of them to various locations around the world— 9/11 memorial; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and so on. After her death, Sadako’s friends and schoolmate raised a statue in her honor for the other children who passed away as a result of the war. At the base of the statue, it states: This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.

Sadako Memorial

For Origami Day, try to fold something new! Or you can try folding the symbol of peace, a crane. Like always, I’m including a visual instructions, and a video. Thanks for reading and best of luck to everyone!!

Have a great day,

Yada Thia

Origami Day References:

Sadako and the 1000 Crane References:

Autumn Leaves

Hey everyone!

I know it’s late, but there are still some leaves left on the trees! Kinda. Today’s post is going to be about the leaves we folded on club day. We folded two different types of leaves—maple and simple. I’m also going to be adding an extra one, but this one involves some cutting.

The first project was a maple leaf folded from a bird base. It’s not very hard to fold as long as you keep your folds as precise as possible. My stylistic choice is to fold the sides in at the end, otherwise the stem may look too chubby. The tutorial for this leaf comes from Origami Tutorial.

Origami Maple Leaf

Second item we folded was a simple leaf. This project is honestly quite easy to fold. If you remember folding fans as a child, it is basically the same repetitive motions as that. Since there are not many complex folds, this leaf can turn out quite large, so I would suggest cutting the paper down. The tutorial is from Origami Instructions.

Simple Leaf

Finally, the final maple leaf project is kirigami, so it involves scissors. The folding for this is also quite simple. When cutting the final structure, try to make narrow semicircles as it’ll look more like a maple leaf. This tutorial is from Sakura Tanaka.

Kirigami Maple Leaf

The compilation this month are on the easier side, but they’re still super fun to try out. Try making a colleciton of falling leaves. Best of luck and thanks for reading! ^-^

Have a great day,


November 5th meeting

Hello! This is your Japanese director, Stacie.

Last week, we had a combined meeting for Japanese and Origami. I kept the Japanese portion short because I knew teaching origami would take longer.We folded leaves and turkeys so I focused on Autumn themed words!

We learned:

秋 (あき), pronounced “aki,” which means “fall”

葉っぱ (はっぱ), pronounced “happa,” which means “leaf”

紅葉 (こうよう / もみじ), pronounced “kouyou / momiji.” This one’s a little more complicated to explain because there is no direct translation in English. If pronounced “kouyou,” it means something similar to autumn colors or leaves turning red. If pronounced “momiji,” it means “Japanese maple.”

七面鳥 (しちめんちょう) pronounced “shichimenchou,” and it means turkey.

感謝 (かんしゃ) pronounced “kansha,” and it means gratitude.

We also learned how to say phrases of gratitude for Thanksgiving.

私は____ に感謝しています (watashi wa ____ ni kansha shite imasu).

This translates to “I am thankful for my ____.”

Some words that can go into the blank are:

家族 (かぞく) (kazoku) – family

友達 (ともだち) (tomodachi) – friend

先生 (せんせい) (sensei) – teacher

For example, if you say “私は家族に感謝しています” (watashi wa kazoku ni kansha shite imasu), it means “I am thankful for my family.”

And that’s all I taught for November 5th’s meeting! Thanks to those who came on November 5th and we hope to see you tomorrow for cooking day!


Hello Everyone!

If you haven’t heard already, OJC is having a Cooking Day! We will be making Strawberry Daifuku and onigiri! Today, I will be talking a little about onigiri.

Onigiri, also commonly known as rice balls, was first seen in Lady Murasaki’s diary. It stated that people were eating rice balls. However, the origins of the onigiri occurred much earlier than Lady Murasaki’s diary.

Traditional onigiri is just rice shaped into cylindrical or triangular shapes and sprinkled salt. The use of nori, dried seaweed, was first used during the mid-Edo period. Below is a picture of the traditional onigiri during the mid-Edo period.

Figure 1

However as society progressed so did the onigiri. Onigiri begins to have different fillings. The most traditional one is the pickled ume (umeboshi) filling. Umeboshi is also known as pickled plums. However there are many different fillings: salmon, kombu, and etc.

Originally it was thought that the onigiri could not be massed produced because of the hand technique that was required to put the different fillings in. However in 1980s, a machine was created that was able to make the onigiri even with the feelings. Ever since then, onigiri has been mass produced to fit on the shelves of convenience stores.

Figure 2

Soon onigiri becomes so popular that it spreads to other countries: Korea, China, London, and etc. There are specialty shops and small restaurants that sell onigiri.

To learn how to make your own, check out OJC’s Cooking Day! All information is written in the flyer on our Facebook Page at Origami & Japanese Club at UIUC. If you have any questions, feel free to message us through our Facebook.

Thanks everyone!





Hello everyone,

Kimono (着物,きもの) literally means a “thing to wear” and clothing in Japanese. But in more recent years, the word has been used to refer specifically to Japanese traditional garments. Kimono is considered as one of the world’s instantly recognizable traditional clothing and also a representative of polite and formal custom. There are different types of kimono for different seasons and occasions, but most of them are T-shaped with long, wide sleeves, straight-lined silk kimono robes and wrapped around the body. They often come into different color combinations that represent either the seasonal colors or the political class to which one belonged.  




Traditionally, the art of putting on a kimono was passed from mother to daughter. When wearing a kimono, it is important to first put on the tabi (足袋,white cotton socks); then the undergarments (a top and a wraparound skirt), and next is the nagajuban (長襦袢, under-kimono which is tied with a datemaki belt); finally, to secured it by a obi (sash, ,おび), which is tied at the back. About an inch of the haneri (collar) of the nagajuban should be showing inside the collar of the kimono. When putting on a kimono, it is important to wear it with the left side over the right because right over left is used when dressing for burial.

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Began in the Heian period (794-1192), kimono was the form of dress worn by everyone in Japan until the mid 19th century where that began to change slowly by the import of suits and dresses and other western fashion. Nowadays, kimonos are most often worn by Japanese women for important festivals or special occasions including weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies and other formal moments.

Hope everyone enjoyed this post!

Warm wishes,