Every week, Japan-born and raised Tomoko Ueda opens her home to the community. Her after school activity (ASA) of teaching origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, to children and adults has been a wonderful addition to Beijing’s Shunyi international community.
Having grown up in Japan, Ueda describes how origami was prominent in her childhood, for Japanese children learn how to fold origami already in kindergarten. She fondly recalls the homemade origami birthday cards her grandmother made her every year, and overall equates origami with fun and loving times.
A kimono doll, made for a departing foreign friend, was the start of Ueda’s “teaching career”. When people saw the beautiful doll she had made, they asked her to teach them how to make it. That’s how Ueda began teaching small classes in her home, later teaching origami at international schools and even birthday parties.
Ueda’s origami ASA classes teach children not only how to fold traditional origami (think, paper cranes), but also her original creations, such as ornaments and accessories. She currently hosts themed origami classes in her home and at the Beijing Riviera market (on Sundays), in addition to the classes she teaches at international school.
Tomoko Ueda’s Origami classes are Halloween themed in October, normal in November, and Christmas themed in December. Her next class is on Friday, October 14, from 4:30-5:30pm at her home in River Garden, Shunyi. Classes cost RMB 60 per person and includes all material fees.
RMB 60. 4:30-5:30pm. Fridays. October 14, 21, 28. Beijing River Garden Villas, 7 Yuyang Road, Houshayu, Shunyi District. 北京裕京花园. 顺义区. 后沙峪榆阳路7号. To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org or add her on WeChat with her id: Tomoko Ueda
Photos courtesy of Tomoko Ueda.