Announcing CFW — a Catalog of Fujimoto’s Works


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Related models: Daffodil (CFW 100)
Related people: Shuzo Fujimoto

Daffodil, CFW 100 (Shuzo Fujimoto)

Looking at Fujimoto’s Daffodil I recently posted, you may have noticed that I added “CFW 100” to the model’s name. CFW stands for Catalog of Fujimoto’s Works, and it is a (nearly) complete list of Shuzo Fujimoto’s designs that I am working on as part of my celebrations of his centenary.

Apart from gathering a list of most of his designs in a single place, the role of the catalog will also be identifying each design with a unique number. This should make discussing these models easier since many have no names at all, others have different names in different books, some have Japanese names which are not easily translated into other languages, etc. For example, the model shown in the image is called “Daffodil” in Twist Folds but is featured as “No 17” in the section with stars in Twist Origami I (the name 水仙, Daffodil, also appears there), and as “11” in the corresponding section of Invitation to Creative Playing with Origami. At the same time, there is at least one other design also labeled “Daffodil”. Using CFW numbers reduces confusion a lot.

The idea for the catalog comes from music, where catalogs of many famous composers’ works have been compiled. For example, the music pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach can easily be identified using BWV (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis) numbers. Since Fujimoto published his designs in a rather unorganized manner, and many without names, I think having a single catalog with unique identifiers will be a useful starting point for further research.

Thanks to having previously done some research into origami model naming, I felt a little better prepared for building a complete catalog of one creator’s designs, but still ran into many issues mentioned in the post linked above, such as “what constitutes a single model”, and practical considerations such as weeding out duplicates (some models are published with slightly different instructions in different books), or even finding out where instructions for one model end and those for another start. Therefore, some errors will likely remain and the catalog will need to be updated from time to time. Additionally, while I managed to get all of Fujimoto’s books, I do not have access to all magazines and other media where some designs were published. Currently, there are about 400 works I’m aware of, and of those I have assigned CFW numbers to about 300 so far — these are the designs that I am most certain of having gotten correctly.

Here are some assumptions I’m basing my work upon:

  • A separate design (and a separate CFW number) is anything that appears as a separate model in any of the Fujimoto books. Sometimes this leads to very similar designs being treated as separate (e.g. two-level and three-level Clover Folding, since they are presented as separate models in Folding Origami Hydrangea). There are no clear-cut criteria to distinguish what is just a matter of shaping and what should be treated as a separate variant. On the other hand, some designs allow for an almost unlimited number of variants, and it is not possible to enumerate all (Fujimoto was clearly aware that one could extend Clover Folding indefinitely, and there is a picture of a level-11 model in the book). Currently, my approach to models which are not exactly as shown in the book, would be to say they are variants of one of the models “closest related” among those with CFW numbers. Obviously, this is not perfect and retains some ambiguity, but it simply isn’t possible to create an exhaustive list of all possible tessellations based on the Clover Folding / Hydrangea technique.
  • The numbers are not Opus Numbers since their order is random, and they are assigned by me rather than by Fujimoto himself. They do not convey any information such as the type of model or similarities between different designs, either. Where variants of the same design receive separate CFW numbers, these numbers need not be close to one another.
  • The old self-published books were prepared by Fujimoto himself while the new books from F-Project were prepared mostly by the editorial team. They have different structure, and it is not clear to me how much the designs presented there were treated as separate designs by Fujimoto and how much of it is the work of editors trying to make the folding more approachable to readers. Likewise the descriptive names such as “Daffodil” which appear in the new books much more often than in the old. However, for simplicity, I treat the new books as canon and assume the designs featured there were intended to be treated as such by Fujimoto.
  • I have doubts regarding the extent to which Fujimoto was aware of some of his designs’ versatility: for example, he clearly designed the Hydrangea, but I’m not sure he himself ever folded the tessellated version or was even aware of the possibility. The densely-packed Hydrangea Tessellation is usually attributed to Peter Budai. There are tessellated versions in Folding Origami Hydrangea, but slightly different. Should standalone Hydrangea and the Budai tessellation be treated as separate designs? The tessellation would not have been invented without Fujimoto’s work, but if he himself was not aware of that particular variant, should it be assigned a CFW number? My approach is: the Hydrangea is in the books, so it gets a CFW number, and the tessellated version should be treated as a design “based on such and such CFW number”.
  • I’m still not sure whether I should assign CFW numbers to Fujimoto’s origami math constructions: they are a huge and very interesting area of his work but I don’t know if treating them in the same way as origami designs will be helpful or not.
  • Spelling: the official way of stating the model number is “CFW N”, with space between “CFW” and the number and without leading zeros. Where a descriptive name is also available, it can be used as the first or last element of the name, separated by commas or parentheses. Where multiple models may be listed, parentheses are preferred over commas since commas can be mistaken for list element separators. Thus, the name of the design shown in the image with this post can be written as any of the following:
    • Daffodil (CFW 100)
    • Daffodil, CFW 100
    • CFW 100 (Daffodil)
    • CFW 100, Daffodil
    • of course, Daffodil is the English translation of the original Japanese name 水仙, which could be used in any of the above expressions instead

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