The Paper Church

This post is inspired by the Haiku Heights prompt “Origami”.

When I was a child I was really impressed by the string of paper dolls my dad could make by cutting or tearing a folded newspaper.

Fondly he folded

Paper people holding hands

Fragile family

patterns to cut out for a chain of paper people

patterns to cut out for a chain of paper people

And, when I was teaching I used to love making paper shapes with the children as part of maths lessons.  By the time they were in top juniors as it was then, the children had progressed to making dodecahedrons which they decorated beautifully and hung from the ceiling.



But never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that it was possible to make houses, garages and even a church out of paper.  However, that and more, has now been done.

You may remember the dreadful earthquake that hit the Kobe region of Japan in 1995.  6,434 lost their lives.  After the earthquake there were literally thousands of people made homeless.  They needed shelter which could be erected quickly and cheaply.  The architect Shigeru Ban designed a paper church/community centre.  Made entirely out of paper donated by companies, it was erected in 5 weeks by about 160 volunteers from local churches. The church was called Takatori after the original church which had been destroyed by the earthquake.

The church measured 10 metres by 15 metres and had 58 paper tubes in an elliptical pattern inside an outer skin of corrugated polycarbonate sheets.

The church was intended to be temporary but it was used as a homeless shelter and church for 10 years before it was dismantled and moved to Taiwan in 2005.

Takatori Church

Shaken and shattered

Kobe’s homeless sought shelter

In a paper church


Takatori Church

Takatori Church

 Kobe Luminarie

Silent and serene

A city of lights springs up

And hope shines out

Takatori Catholic Church, Hyogo, Japan. Design...

Takatori Catholic Church, Hyogo, Japan. Designed by Shigeru Ban. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 thoughts on “The Paper Church

  1. The strength of paper lies in the use it is put to… You have a way of weaving in interesting facts in your posts…loved each of the three Haiku, each of them has a story of its own,


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