There are lots of paper craft kits available in Japan, both for sale and to download for free. Some are extremely intricate and the final result looks stunning, but at the same time they look like a lot of time and very steady hands are needed to complete them. Intrigued, I picked up a model that looked easy to do in a toy store – a paper craft Shinkansen. In fact, it is made of light carton, not paper and is fairly large, making the work less finicky.
The package contained the pre-cut pieces that can be simply pushed out of the carton sheet and pictorial instructions. And the design is nothing short of fantastic – no scissors or glue are needed. Just fold the pieces along the indicated lines and stick the pieces into the corresponding folds, and it all holds together beautifully. It made me think a bit of the Japanese feats of wood joinery where no nails are used. I have to say that the experience was very satisfactory. In a few relatively easy steps, a 3D structure springs up from a mere sheet of carton. I think I feel ready to graduate to a more complicated model! It also makes a nice souvenir or present to bring home from Japan, at the kits are flat-pack and can easily fit in a suitcase (at least, if you can manage to contain your excitement and wait until you’re home before putting it together).