Regular Ocho

Regular Ocho and Mecho are two traditional origami butterfly described in “Wrapping Origami” by Yoshihide Momotani (1993). Momotani gives instructions to fold 3 pairs of paper butterflies:
  • Classical Mecho & Ocho (from Kayaragusa)
  • Formal Mecho & Ocho (Traditional), and
  • Regular Mecho & Ocho (Traditional)

Instruction to fold “regular” Ocho is shown below.

Mecho and Ocho are historically important because they are first examples of representational origami. The paper butterflies were used to decorate sake bottles during wedding ceremonies. In current day Japan, Mecho and Ocho are still sometimes used in the same manner; they are not common origami models which you might see everyday.

It is unclear why Momotani uses the word “regular” to describe these butterflies, but the terms “formal” and “regular” will be used to maintain consistency.

Instructions to fold “Regular” Ocho.


Make a waterbomb base. Precrease a square sheet of paper as shown and collapse into an inverted waterbomb.

Work with the top-right flap.

  1. Fold the edge of the flap towards the central midline. Make a pinch fold (green arrow).
  2. Fold the flap so the edge meets the pinch mark made above.
  3. Bring the flap to the left so you can work on the back side.
  4. Fold in the top-layer of the flap and allow the back layer to swivel forward. The location of the fold is about half the width of the small flap made in step 2.
  5. Bring the flap back to the right side.
  6. Fold this flap in half (join green dots) so the edge of the flap aligns with the midline.
  7. Repeat with left flap.
Work with the bottom tip of the model which will become the head of the butterfly.

  1. Fold in the wings as shown.
  2. a) Mountain fold (fold behind) the tip of the model (this will be the head of the butterfly.
    b) Make a valley fold so the tip of the head protrudes beyond the model.
  3. Pleat one more time: mountain fold then valley fold.
  4. “Regular Ocho is complete.
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Evidence from the internet: if you do a google search for “sake bottle decoration” you will find many examples of Mecho, Ocho and other celebratory folds. Such a search did not result in an image of regular Ocho with the exception of this pdf file by Michael Scott. In his presentation, he shows Mecho and Ocho which is very similar to the one described here. More information is needed to determine where he got the models from.

mecho and ocho

Books about Origami Butterflies

  • Butterfly Origami by Roman Diaz
  • Butterflies in Origami by Nick Robinson
  • Easy Butterfly Origami by Tammy Yee
  • Origami Butterflies Mini Kit: Kit with Origami Book, and Instructional DVD by LaFosse and Alexander
  • See books with origami insects in: USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France

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