Japan House London Family Workshops Paper Ema Nengajo and Origami

Explore the cultures of Japan this December with a series of family-friendly workshops. During each workshop, participants can enjoy learning about Japan and unleashing their creativity while trying an activity using original Japan House London worksheets.

Make Your Own Paper Ema

Ema (lit. ‘picture horses’) are palm-sized wooden tablets seen at shrines throughout Japan. Typically, shrinegoers write prayers or wishes on them and hang them at the shrine as offerings. In the Hida Takayama region of Gifu Prefecture, featured in Japan House London’s current exhibition The Carpenters’ Line, ema are made from paper and decorated with a picture of a horse. 

Make your own paper ema using an original Japan House London activity worksheet. The worksheet features a template created by Ikemoto-ya, a famed ema-maker based in Takayama City. Decorate the horse with lucky patterns, add wishes for good fortune and good health and display the completed ema at the entrance of your home to invite in good luck. Remember to hang the ema with the horse’s head facing inwards, so as to carry good fortune inside.  

Create Your Own New Year Card (nengajō)

In Japan it is customary to send New Year greetings cards (nengajō) to relatives, friends and colleagues. Decorated with special greetings and seasonal illustrations, nengajō are usually delivered on New Year’s Day. Colour in and cut out our selection of pictures associated with the New Year season to decorate your own original nengajō.

Make Your Own Origami Crane

Orizuru (lit. ‘folded crane’) is one of the best-known designs of origami, the Japanese art of paper-folding. Try making your own orizuru to wish for peace and hope for the future, with a coloured in pattern of your own design or colourful origami paper. 

Workshop Timetable

Sunday 18 December 2022, 14:00, 15:30 (New Year Card, Origami)

Monday 19 December 2022, 14:00, 15:30 (New Year Card, New Year Card)

Tuesday 20 December 2022, 14:00, 15:30 (Ema, Ema)

Wednesday 21 December 2022, 14:00, 15:30 (Ema, Origami)

Thursday 22 December 2022, 14:00, 15:30 (Origami, New Year Card)