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  • Try making these origami animals by Japanese origami artists!

Try making these origami animals by Japanese origami artists!

Posted on December 8, 2020


When you think of origami, the first thing that probably pops into your mind is folded paper cranes, perhaps even a thousand of them. Beyond the traditional Japanese cranes, these origami artists have explored the variety of forms of the animal kingdom, bringing exotic animals from Africa, India, the sea, and even mythical realms to life through paper. You can follow these designers’ folding techniques by checking out their instagram accounts or websites!


The following three origami creations were folded and designed by origami artist Tetsuya Gotani.

elephant origami

photo & created by: @origami_tetsuya_gotani

A regal elephant standing tall. The artist, Tetsuya Gotani, has published an original origami book where you can learn how to fold all of his creations here. 

cat origami

Origami derives from the Japanese words “ori” from “oru,” or to fold, and “kami” meaning paper. This orange cat doesn’t realize it, but his existence is predated by centuries of paper folding that have come before him. Paper arrived in Japan way back in the 6th century and soon after, paper folding emerged in Shinto rituals, marking the beginnings of the meticulous artform we now know of as origami.

photo & created by: @origami_tetsuya_gotani

unicorn origami

photo & created by: @origami_tetsuya_gotani

A unicorn, poised and effervescent turquoise. All of Gotani’s paper creatures have a clean and beautifully geometric appearance.


The next three origami were folded and designed by origami artist Mineo.

tiger origami

photo & created by: @nmmnmz

A menacing tiger. The artist folded this one with just one uncut square piece of paper. The minute details down to the tiger’s eyes, claws, and teeth stand out against other origami artworks. You can find more of Mineo’s designs for purchase here. 

rabbit origami

photo & created by: @nmmnmz

The white rabbit was found at last! Who knew he’d end up here in Japan and not in Wonderland.

crow origami

photo & created by: @nmmnmz

A black crow coming in for landing. The lines distinguishing the feathers in the crow’s wings are striking, adding a sense of vitality and movement to the otherwise motionless paper statue.


These last two origami were folded by a Hokkaido origami artist Sywny. The animals were designed by other creators.

dolphin origami

photographed & folded by: @sywny

dolphin origami design by: Fumiaki Kawahata

circle (#369) origami design by: @sywny


Sywny is an origami suncatcher designer, and her stunning suncatchers can be seen above. Floating next to the dolphin, the circle designs seem to resemble lotus leaves. Her original designs can be found here. 

mouse origami

photographed & folded by: @sywny

mouse origami design by: Kohei Kamei

Finally, we have a cute little mouse featuring soft, translucent watercolor paper.


Bored of all your lockdown hobbies? Why not try out some origami by making your favorite animals!


Written by: Maya Kimura Watts