The Blintz — folding the four corners of a square to the center — is one of the common bases in origami.
But, how do you blintz? Of course, I know you can fold a blintz, but in this series of articles we shall review the history, landmarks, folding sequences, and more. There might be a detail or two you weren’t aware of.
Today we present the Yakko, a simple, archetypical origami model that is composed almost completely of blintzes. During the next many weeks we shall see a whopping 13 installments of essays, diagrams, and more about the blintz.
Originally, a yakko was a servant of a samurai. Today he is more like the Pierrot figure, somewhat humoristic. In origami, the Yakko is one of the oldest models. A woodcut in the book “Ranma Zushiki” (“Decorative Panels”) from 1734 depicts it in a group of models.
The folding is simple: Three alternating blintzes (blintz and turn over) are followed by squashing open three flaps. The Yakko is one of three models based almost purely on blintzes. The other two are the salt cellar, or fortune teller, with two alternating blintzes plus opening up, and the lotus flower, which has three or four blintz folds on the same side followed by reverse folding of all the flaps.
In the next installment, we will see more about Ranma Zushiki and the history of the blintz featuring two of our heroes, Akira Yoshizawa and Gershon Legman.