Mechanical Paper Animal Toys from Japan

If you think you’ve explored everything in paper craft ideas here is some black magic from Japan that will blow your mind.

Japanese designer Haruki Nakamura is a veteran paper engineer. He makes paper animal toys that have neat mechanical tricks whenever you trigger them in a certain way. This type of paper craft is called Kamikara, a combination of the words ‘kami’ (paper) and ‘karakuri’ (mechanism).

When you live in Japan you can buy Haruki’s paper creations online here.

Recreating these animals is not for the faint hearted. However, when you’re able to pull off putting all the pieces and mechanisms together you’ll have something awesome to show off to your friends or kids.

Kamikara tools

If you want to work on your own Kamikara from scratch here’s a list of what you need:

  • cardstock paper
  • scissors
  • craft knife
  • white school glue
  • ruler
  • toothpick
  • rubber bands

Kamikara book

If you want to try to create Kamikara from existing examples get this essential book:


The book includes pull-out cardstock pages that contain all the pieces you need to create similar Kamikara creatures, no further tools needed.

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(this link directs you to the product page on Amazon)

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