Golden hand painted chrysanthemums share the spotlight with a dozen connecting paper cranes set against a gray background. (Courtesy of Art by Jyunko Marjala)


Rafu Craft Editor


Recycling The Rafu is so IN!

And it was in before anyone realized that.

This has been the running joke around The Rafu Shimpo office for as long I can recall. The newspaper stays essentially the same with no transformation into another product.

Key is reuse.

Through the early ’80s, as Japanese families congregated in specific areas of Los Angeles, bike riding delivery boys threw The Rafu in their yards. Lady Luck was with anyone whose paper actually landed on their doorstep.

Many eyes within one household would read the daily paper. Funny how each issue was quite likely to have feet—it would go beyond one family reading that same issue.

Even to this day, stories are told about The Rafu being recycled with friends, neighbors and “the kids” whenever they visit or need a babysitter. One subscriber living in Monterey Park could trace one paper touching 14 households.

Connecting cranes are meticulously folded from a single sheet of yuzen origami paper by Andrea Jyunko Marjala of Auberry. (Courtesy of Art by Jyunko Marjala)

Self-taught artist Andrea Jyunko Marjala of Auberry provided an interesting tidbit about how The Rafu  made its rounds in Utah during the mid-’50s.

Marjala’s mom, Connie Nomura, recalls as a little girl growing in Ogden that her parents, Frank and Frances Nomura, would take their Rafu to the Buddhist church, where everyone would pass it around to read.

When papers were eventually returned to them, the next stop was the Christian church for reuse.

“Every time they came back, they were worn and tattered because so many people had read them,” said Connie. She recalls the excitement and anticipation from everyone to catch up with the news.

With an artistic bent, Marjala first received a business administration education coupled with art electives. In the mid-’90s, she became mesmerized with an ancient Japanese technique after reading a book about Buddhist Priest Rokoan Gido (1761-1834).

Think hand-folding multiple cranes from a single sheet of paper, all connected by the head, tail and/or wing. This is what Priest Gido created — the Rokoan Tsunagiori style of origami. Her goal was to master this craft. That she did.

Folding one perfect tsuru so that the white underside of the paper is invisible is not an easy task! Raise your hand if you’re one of many, me included, who have helped fold 1,001 paper cranes to celebrate love and good fortune for a family member or friend. Did you ace it?

Following the birth of her fourth son in 2003, Marjala’s origami art business took off, and it now keeps her busy as a stay-at-home mom. A Fresno State Fair top prize winner was “Butterfly in Flight,” and it continues to be a top seller.

See her artwork along with 47 artisans from near and far at the 14th annual United Japanese Christian Church’s Asian Craft and Food Faire this Saturday in Clovis.

Expect ideal  weather this weekend for fun shopping and good eats!

Check out Krafty Korner online in living color at!

Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
UJCC Asian Craft & Food Faire
United Japanese Christian Church
136 N. Villa Ave., Clovis
559-322-0701, Vivian Takeuchi

Saturday, Sept. 22, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Jan Ken Po Gakko Arts & Crafts Fair
Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation
9040 High Tech Ct., Elk Grove
408-839-6023, Renee Kumamoto


Saturday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Craftastic Gift Boutique
Pasadena Buddhist Temple
1993 Glen Ave., Pasadena, Corky Ishikawa


Sunday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Kokoro Craft Affair
Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles, Janet Maloney


Saturday, Oct. 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Eden Holiday Craft Show
Marina Community Center
15301 Wicks Blvd., San Leandro, Alice Hu


Saturday, Oct. 13, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
SEJSCC Holiday Boutique
Hawaiian-Style Pancake Breakfast
7-11 a.m.
Southeast Japanese School & Community Center
14615 Gridley Rd., Norwalk
562-754-8582, Richard Shinomoto


Saturday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Crafty Foxes Holiday Boutique
Joan Pisani Community Center
19655 Allendale Ave., Saratoga
408-356-2764, Carol Yuki


Sunday, Oct. 21, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
WLA JACL Aki Matsuri Boutique
Venice Japanese Community Center
12448 Braddock Dr., Culver City
323-980-8225. Jean Ushijima


Sunday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Krafty Delites Fall Boutique #1
Carson Community Center
801 E. Carson St., Carson, Stephanie Nakayama


Friday-Sunday, Nov. 2-4, 
  Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 9-11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Touch of Nature Holiday Show
Diamond Bar, call for location
909-594-5964, Lily Saito


Sunday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kiku Craft & Food Fair
E. San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center
11203 W. Puente Ave., West Covina
951-818-8740, Hisako Koga


Saturday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Japantown Winter Boutique
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
San Jose Buddhist Church Gym
640 N. 5th St., San Jose


Saturday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ayame Kai Holiday Craft Fair
Blaine Memorial Methodist Church
3001 24th Ave. So., Seattle, WA
425-827-4930, Shizue Yahata


Saturday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Koi Krafters
Almansor Court, Lakeview Room
700 S. Almansor, Alhambra
626-282-2932, Irene Jong


Sunday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Beary Best Friends
Holiday Inn
7000 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
562-865-2637, Ellen Mabuni


Sunday, Dec. 1, 4-7 p.m.
SoCal Nikkei Bowling Assn. Holiday Craft Boutique Fair
Canoga Park Bowl
20122 Vanowen St., Winnetka, Jane Teis


Sunday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Krafty Delites Christmas Boutique #2
Carson Community Center
801 E. Carson St., Carson, Stephanie Nakayama

Sunday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
St. Mary’s Christmas Boutique
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
963 S. Mariposa, Los Angeles
213-215-3883, Fifi Newcomb


Sunday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
A Time for Sharing Christmas Boutique
Gardena Elks Lodge
1735 W. 162nd St., Gardena, Stephanie Nakayama


Saturday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Kimochi Silver Bells Arts & Crafts Faire
Event Center at St. Mary’s Cathedral
1111 Gough St., San Francisco
415-931-2294, Sakura Suzuki

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