Noshi 6 Instructions

In Japanese culture, noshi is a decorative element attached to a gift during a happy occasion. It is believed that this custom existed in Japan as early as the 12th century. Attaching noshi to a gift is still practiced today though few people fold their own noshi. Noshi can be purchased in the same way an American might buy a gift bow from a department store.

This page gives instructions on how to fold Noshi 6. The method of folding was determined by reverse engineering; it is not knowledge derived from an individual who is familiar with the ancient art of noshi folding. Thus, the methodology will produce the “look” but it may not represent the “way” it should be folded.

Breaking from tradition, this noshi looks best when folded with a sheet of paper that is the same color on front and back side.

In step 11, roll the flap of paper towards the left, do not make a hard crease.


In step 13, adjust the lower layer of paper (the left flap) so the corner protrudes in an attractive angle complementing the pleats on the right flap. Once that in achieved, press down to establish the crease. Note how the final noshi has an extra pleat which is derived from the left flap.

As shown on the last image, the completed noshi often has a strip of textured paper inserted into the wrapper. This strip of paper (often yellow in color) represents stretched and dried abalone (shellfish). The entire wrapper is bound with a strip of paper (often gold or silver in color). The noshi wrapper can also be bound with mizuhiki. Mizuhiki is a bundle of stiff string knotted in a decorative manner.

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Above, left: examples of noshi used by a school for girls of noble families. Notice how the paper is not strictly red and white anymore. Photo from noshi collection by Yamanaka Kyoko (1850-1928).


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