For centuries, the Japanese paper-folding art known as origami continues to inspire new ideas, new techniques, and new shapes. However, another (and possibly even more impressive) method of creation called karakuri is taking the three-dimensional paper art technique to new interactive shapes and sizes.
Karakuri — translated to mean "mechanisms" or "tricks" in Japanese — refers to mechanized puppets that were developed during the Edo-era in Japan. This paper-inspired version of karakuri begins with the traditional origami and kirigami techniques, but quickly adds mechanized parts to the construction of this particular craft. In return, the creations gain pop-up movements as well as other interactive moving qualities. With the simple touch of a human hand, the paper animals, robots, and cars spring into action.
The creative mastermind behind these paper puppets is Haruki Nakamura. Haruki, a Japan native refers to his profession as being a paper engineer. To future explain his line of work, Haruki wrote a book called, "Paper Craft Techniques Encyclopedia."
If you're a fan of origami or have even mastered the art of the floating paper crane, you'll want to study Haruki's highly engineered creations. Thus far, Haruki has made a remarkable assortment of intractable figures and animals. A few favorites are the "panda bomb," the snapping "bite crocodile," and the smiling shark. Naturally, that's only mentioning a few of his masterful designs.
Haruki does sell his designs, but they are limited to purchase in Japan only. Nevertheless, he does have an extensive YouTube channel full of ideas, tips, videos of his objects coming to life, as well as plenty of inspiration for those seeking to learn his art.
Watch the paper penguin spring into life: