Komatsu’s “Santa Claus with Large Hat”


tanteidan20This delightful Santa figure is by Komatsu Hideo (小松英夫) and appeared in the “20th Anniversary Origami Tanteidan International Convention” (第20回記念:折紙探偵団国際コンベンション折り図集 Vol.20) the 2014 Origami Tanteidan Convention publication. (Convention site: Japanese, English.) The direct book links include images of all the pieces in the book.

You can make the piece with just Santa’s hat and upper body, or add a second piece of paper folded to make legs. Both versions are very cool. The finished piece has a nicely clean exterior, without a lot of excess creaselines – a testament to the cleverness of the design and folding sequence, which carefully tucks away unused bits and carefully shapes all the fun details. I’d rate it at least intermediate in difficulty, due to some unusual moves and asymmetries.

Random musings:

Though I’ve owned this book for a couple of years, now, this piece hadn’t really appeared on my “fold this!” radar until recently. I’m always surprised by this phenomenon, even though it seems to happen all too frequently for me. I had happily flipped through the book when I purchased it, of course, with lots of “oooh, nice!” reactions, as to be expected with a JOAS publication. But then it went on the shelf, out of sight, apparently out of mind.

Then the other day the gang at MIT’s origami club, OrigaMIT, recently sent out mail announcing their weekly meeting, including a photo of this piece that they’d be teaching… and of course the holidays are coming, so a nice Santa was very appealing, and I hustled off to find the book.

But I do think there is something going on here slightly out of proportion to general-forgetfulness and/or timing that squelches or spikes interest in a piece that might be summed up as: don’t discount the effect of a really good example photograph of a piece, well-folded, with interesting or really appropriate paper. Though we origami practitioners all exercise our visualization skills regularly – following printed instructions is a continual mapping between the 2D drawing and the real thing we’re holding in our hands – sometimes it is hard to see

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