Photo: Reproduced with permission from 我流切紙人 garyūkirigaminin (@garyukirigami)

Japanese paper artist creates strikingly detailed and colorful plants and creatures, miniatures

By grape Japan

As his pseudonym 我流切紙人 garyukirigaminin (literally, "self-styled paper-cutter") indicates, Japanese paper artist Toshiaki Kawasaki 川﨑利昭 (@garyukirigami) takes a unique approach to the art of paper-cutting. Instead of making flat paper cutouts, many of his intricate paper artworks look more like sculptures, combining paper-cutting with origami to create three-dimensional, colorful, and realistic works inspired by the beautiful specimens of flora and fauna found in the Natural Kingdom and imbued with his own artistic sensibilities.

Another way in which the creations of this self-styled paper artist distinguish themselves from that of other paper artists is in their size. Although some of his works are true to scale, others are miniatures, reproducing creatures in astonishing detail at unbelievably tiny dimensions.

Kawasaki has been commissioned by aquariums and other institutions for his delicate and realistic paper creations. As an event producer and organizer, he has also planned various exhibitions and workshops.

Let's take a look at some of his work:


In one of Kawasaki's oft-employed techniques, he combines the colorful markings of the living creature while also revealing its skeletal structure, in an interesting miniature specimen-like hybrid fashioned in kiri-origami (a combination of paper-cutting and origami). Here is a gorgeous group of colorful and translucent goldfish created in this technique. It's truly hard to imagine that they're made of paper. You can admire more of them on his blog here.

Photo: Reproduced with permission from 我流切紙人 garyūkirigaminin (@garyukirigami)

Kawasaki has also created works in this style inspired by giant oarfish, coelacanth and Ocean sunfishlionfish, and more.

Signal crayfish

These Signal crayfish are examples of his realistic works (in contrast to his works designed to look like displayed specimens). As you can see, the attention to detail is remarkable. Incidentally, Signal crayfish are his favorite crustaceans.

Photo: Reproduced with permission from 我流切紙人 garyūkirigaminin (@garyukirigami)

You can see more of them here.


Kawasaki is also inspired by the fascinating world of insects, as you can see in this realistic butterfly and stunning blue dragonfly:


Photo: Reproduced with permission from 我流切紙人 garyukirigaminin (@garyukirigami)

He's also fond of praying mantises, not only fashioning incredibly detailed single specimens (see his mantis on the right, compared to the conventional cutout model on the left in the Tweet below).


But in a feat he is uniquely qualified to accomplish, even going as far as creating a nest with hundreds of baby mantises coming out of it.

As small as a grain of rice

A perfect example of Kawasaki's impressive skill creating intricately detailed creatures in tiny dimensions are these scorpions barely larger than a grain of Japanese rice. For scale, the one yen coin in the photo below measures 20 mm in diameter. That's tiny!

Photo: Reproduced with permission from 我流切紙人 garyūkirigaminin (@garyukirigami

Here are more of his miniatures, from baby millipedes to baby Orchid mantis and conventional mantis babies and many others.


Miniature dinosaurs in a bottle

Kawasaki isn't limited to extant species. His imagination also reaches millions of years in the past. Going back to his skeletal specimen-type creations, Kawasaki creates dinosaurs in miniature form, captured in a bottle to be displayed.

Photo: Reproduced with permission from 我流切紙人 garyūkirigaminin (@garyukirigami

He also creates realistic seaweed.


To enjoy more works from garyukirigaminin, be sure to follow him on Twitter for updates and information on his upcoming exhibitions and opportunities to buy his work, and read his blog.

Read more stories from grape Japan.

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-- This mountain hot spring town may be Japan’s most photogenic winter wonderland

-- Customisable Pokemon name necklaces featuring fan favourites bring style to Pokemon training

© grape Japan

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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When I was a kid, the name 'Kawasaki' was well known as a maker of Japanese motorcycles. And we all knew the TV ad jingle 'Kawasaki makes the good times roll....'.

Later when I was in college I learned that there is a city named 'Kawasaki', located close to the world's largest city, Tokyo.  

Now I know it's also the last name of one terrific aetist, Toshiaki Kawasaki - a genius master of the art of garyukirigaminin. And his work is superb to say the least. It's really outstanding!

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When I was a kid, the name 'Kawasaki' was well known as a maker of Japanese motorcycles. And we all knew the TV ad jingle 'Kawasaki makes the good times roll....'.

?....I guess you have to be of a certain age to remember that CM.

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Can you buy those. Great gift no carbon footprint

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