Over the years there have been several card issues, some of which have been reported in the British Origami mag. Nowhere have I seen a summary of the issues. I classify them into three sections. 1. Cards with folding instructions. 2. Cards with pictures only. 3. Cards with origami-like pictures. I've included much information about each set of cards. Size of cards 86 x 54 mm except when indicated otherwise. All cards are plastic except when noted otherwise. To get a closer look, click on each image.

1. Cards with folding instructions.


"Origami Volanti" Aeroplane models, a set of 6 cards n°s 1361/2 - 1438/9 - 1440/1, Italcom, quantity 55,000 each, one corner of each card is perforated. In use the corner is detached. So avoid detached corners if you want unused examples. Issued 2001-3. Origami model designer Franco Pavarin.

italy_aeroplano_ftn.jpg italy_aeroplano_btn.jpg
Front Back

Quite coincidentally phonecards were first created in Italy. Their introduction was a measure to avoid phonebox cash box robberies.


Traditional models, set of 3 cards, China Netcom, Beijing area use. Issued circa 2001. Cards were apparently sponsored by a Beijing origami club.


Classic Dart single card, Deutche Telecom, lacquered paper card, only 2000 issued. C series (produced for collectors) 02/2001 Sold in large presentation box with folded silver paper dart that holds the card, each one individually numbered.

flugzug_ftn.jpg flugzug_btn.jpg
Front Back
flugzug0001tn.jpg flugzug0002th.jpg

Telefonkarten sammlen (phone card collecting) was most popular in Germany.


Card 263 to immediate right  Although described as "palm leaf turbine" this can easily be reproduced with paper strips.

Card 260 to centre right shows a fish made from palm leaf strips. This design has been printed in the AEP (Spanish Origami Society) magazine "Pajarita".

Both cards above were part of a set issued by TOT (Telephone of Thailand) in year 2552 (=2009).

Card to far right, shows an example of the same palm leaf fish, but without instructions. It was issued by Thai Airways. It is a prepaid flight booking card.


Santa instructions (creator unknown) on a Walmart gift card issued 2009. This is a mint example.

2. Cards with pictures only


cranes & fan
jap_origami1tn.jpg japanNTT%20phonecard2tn.jpg

Telecard (cranes & fan) design reused, circa 1995, Japanese text (110-204) This is an example of a "model design" card. Many other examples exist with same background and differing text.

japan_110_204tn.jpg japan_sembazuru1tn.jpg

Telecard Cranes. A set of 2 cards NTT senbazuru. (291-216) & (291-326) 1000 Paper Cranes of Kuwana. The portrait card origami formation is called "Fishing Boat" in Japanese.
cranes & fan book
crane_fan_ftn.jpg jap_origami2tn.jpg
crane_fan_btn.jpg Rear of last card "cranes & fan book"
Cranes & fan book, 8 examples shown, with(7) and without(1) text. This is a book card (Tosho card). Many other examples exist with same background and differing text. This not a phonecard. They are manufactured by Toshocard. Issuer "Japanese Books Promotion Ltd." The logo is distinctive. It's used to pay for books in Japan.

More Tosho cards featuring cranes.

2007 - year of the boar
The last card above scan contributed by Annie Ribault.

Tosho cards featuring paper plane

Card has several airlines printed on the paper plane.
Look after your heart.
advertiser unknown

QUO cards, these are used in Japan. These cards can be used at the Seven Eleven and Familymart convenience stores, Denny's family restaurants, a large drugstore/chemist chain.

QUO card with cranes
OKT Cubic Company later merged into OKTUO Asset Secuties. It's that dart again!
Japan airlines QUO card with that dart again.
Traders Holdings Co Ltd, financial company, Tokyo features boat folded from money. This is a QUO card.
The card above is a PASSNET card, a travel card. Note the man leaving box logo and triple notches.  It is not a Quo card, despite the same crane and paper design.

This too is a PASSNET card. It also features cranes.

Here is almost the same design as the QUO cards above, but used for a telecard. "Flying into the 21st Century", 4th November 1997, Osaka Credit Union Code no: 110-016 (a "white" card)  Closely allied design by Densetsu. This is a telecard

Japan has issued the most phonecards.

"Hiden Senbazuru Orikata " is the oldest origami book for amusement in the world (published in 1797).
It gives instructions for 1000 cranes, cut-works as depicted in the senbazuru cards.

"cranes with pine branch", design reused on several occasions, circa 1993 "merry Christmas", "hole in one", and Japanese text x5 (110-36) This is another example of a "model design" card. Many other examples exist with same background and differing text.


Snake NTT, Year of Snake, Akira Yoshizawa, 1989, card number (250-218).


IO crane. This is a "ringer. It's a card for use on Japan Rail (JR) lines in eastern Japan. The card is slightly taller than the standard phonecard size. (85 x 57 mm) JR card 85 x 58 mm West region JR card 85 x 58 mm West region JR card 85 x 58 mm
East region
issued 1989

A likely travel card, Japanese, possibly the Kansai airport  rail link.
It's the vase that is of interest.
Mitsuhiki is used to bind a paper container folded in a traditional manner.
This card not in my collection

front back front
NTT card, producer TELECA. Number 110-107059 featuring paper plane (design unknown). The advertiser is Juso, an estate agent. Teleca Card 290-34890
advertiser unknown. Same card background as previous card

Japanese phone cards have their number on the back in the form : no of units <issuing officexxx-seriesxxx> eg 1000 <110-036>

Some types are special i.e. 110 indicates these cards were sold as blanks to shops that print pictures on them, sometimes in very small quantities. Many company and advertising cards have such a 110 number.

Similarly there are 110 cards which are "model design". These are printed with a background design then sold to shops which overprint them later with the customers' text.

Teleca is a subsidiary of NTT which was appointed to administer customers' commercial card production. Initially NTT did this work. Both "model design" and blank cards can be found with either an NTT or Teleca logo. The logo appears on the back of the card on such cards.

This is a phonecard issued by NTT from Kansei district. Numbered 330-172, 50 units. A paper aeroplane is clearly shown.
ANI is Asian News International.
This is a free design phonecard issued by NTT.  numbered 110-689, 50 units. It is advertising a pump and the superb crane is really gratuitous and intended as attention getting.

FUMI Cards, these are issued by the Japanese post office and are used for purchasing envelopes, stamps etc. at the post office.

Fumi card size is the same as a phonecard and they look similar. Front and back shown. Note the double top stroke "T" logo on the front. Fumi card celebrating the 32nd National Handicapped Sports Meet, also known as "Oridsuru Sports Meet Hiroshima", held in 1996. "oridsuru" is a shortening of  "origami tsuru", meaning "origami crane". Generic design Fumi cards

This is a travel card, used for rail travel in the Kansai district of Japan. The background shows paper with patterns from the Edu period.

Mitsubishi feauring penguins. Card No: 110-011
Nothing known of designer/folder.
Mobil peGASus.
This company has been associated with origami pegasus since 1940.
Model creator Akiro Yoshizawa.
Card no 110-011. Issued 1988.

Tokyo Toy Show '86  card no 110-6673
This is likely the oldest card in this display.
It's the classic paper dart again.
Advertising card from Axess (computer reservation systems company). Card number 110-011. Issued 1992 or later. It's that paper dart again! card number 110-011
a model design card
issued by NTT
newspaper folds!
It's advertising Osaka Yomiuri Advertising Company. Text is "Flying together"
card number 110-011, CEC = Cosmo Engineering Co. Tokyo,  part of Cosmo Oil Group. Unusual origami-like shape.

Advertising card for comic. Card number 110-011. Issued  by KDD. It's that paper dart yet again! Card number 110-011
a model design card
issued by NTT
Text reads "Congratulations - Postal & Telecommunications Memorial Day"
It is commemorating the founding of the first modern postal/telegram/telephone service set up in Japan in the 19th century.
Card 110-011 issued sometime since 1992.
This appears to be the basic background design of the previous card.
Advertising for Saitama college, founded 1789
Card number 110-011

Two telecards featuring the crane. The first is an NTT card 110-205012 which shows a single crane and 1000 cranes strung together. The second is a Teleca card 110-011 showing two folded cranes

This is a Teleca card featuring the crane. Number 110-19. Issued by an estate agency.

Two telecards celebrating the 32nd National Handicapped Sports Meet, also known as "Oridsuru Sports Meet Hiroshima", held in 1996. "oridsuru" is a shortening of  "origami tsuru", meaning "origami crane". Both cards 110-011 are "white cards".

Telecard issued on behalf of  Kotobuki Removals. Card No 110-154. Front and back shown.  This card  is featuring the Seven Gods of Fortune. Note the white crane on red rectangle logo. This is a model design card.
Another model design card by the same advertiser showing cranes. A rare meeting of the origami version and the real thing. Card No 110-83. Card celebrates the 15th anniversary of the start of the company. Another model design card by the same advertiser showing Mount Fuji. Card No 110-126. "Removal Specialists" is in red.

Two model design cards from the same advertiser, note same crane logo. First anniversary of Origami Crane Mutual Association, Iwaki Imperial Gift Foundation. Code no: 110-011 and no: 110-016 (both "white" cards)  Two cards with the ubiquetous paper dart.
Advert for the "Big Shuttle" 3D movie cinema in the Nissan-Fuyo Pavilion at YES'89 (Yokohama Exotic Showcase '89). The large characters say "Big Shuttle", and the smaller "Nissan-Fuyo Pavilion". Code no: 110-63813 (a "free design" card)
The second shows a view of Kitayama Point on the Rikuchu Coast (white characters). The red characters say "Tanohata Village, Iwate Prefecture", and the yellow card "Nostalgia Village". Code no: 110-011 (a "white" card)
Citicorp. A rare newspaper fold.
Card 110-011 issued sometime between 1989 & 1991
Sanyo Steel
Card 110-015
Card 330-17624 issued on behalf of
TOEI group (film producers)

Asahi Scholarship Foundation, "If you don't start, it won't begin". Code no: 110-011
(a "white" card)
Nichiei Securities - Utsunomiya Branch: Small-to-medium stock fund '90 - "From now on, our leading part is lots of enjoyment" Code no: 110-011 (a "white" card)
"By the window" by Torao Minota. Code no: 110-011 (a "white" card)
Award commemoration (designed by Masa Miyazaki), Green Day, 1997, Code no: 110-015 (a "white" card)
"The Peace of the World. We Love Peaceful Town" Hiroshima (Hiroshima Peace Memorial , i.e., Genbaku Dome) Code no: 110-011 (a "white" card)
Protest card number 110-463407.
Appears to be rejecting round the clock flying.
(a "white" card)
Advertising card on behalf of TNC (Television
Nisinippon Corporation).
Card 110-011 issued sometime since 1992
KDD Card 110-011 issued 1986. One of the oldest cards in this collection.

Kyoto 1200th Celebration 1994
Code No 110-011
(a "white" card)
Kirin Beer advert
Code No 110-016
(a "white" card)
Advert for manga,  ladies comic "YOU" published by Shueisha Co
Card No 110-011
(a "white" card)
Tan-nan industries Fair '96 features a stylised crane. Card number 110-011, (a white card)
Card number 110-016 featuring stylistic crane painting
(a "white" card)
Card 110-011 issued sometime since 1992

Dart in the clouds, number 110-011. (a "white" card)
"Delivering your town's hot topics" Kanagawa Shimbun (shimbun = newspaper) Code no: 110-011 (a "white" card)
A Teleca card code No: 290-21980
Ebara Co. [pumps] Code No: 110-011 (a "white" card) Another dart. Card No 110-011 (a "white" card) Another dart. Card No 110-7721 (a "white" card)

Four cards featuring the crane. TBC advertising card number 110-016 and a card from Hakatamatsumiya shop featuring the same background are model design cards. The Japanese clothing cards numbered 110-016 are a "puzzle" set, i.e. they are parts of one picture.
"Felicitations" (or "Congratulations"), Respect-for-the-Aged Day, Keiyu Hospital in Ome-City, Tokyo. Code no: 110-32879 (a "free design" card)
Card no 110-011, a "white card". Showing modern Japanese clothing with lots of origami paper scattered around and two crane models (one held by girl, other on floor lower right). Card issued on behalf of Oscar Promotion Co. Tokyo.
Card 110-016 LYOJRI
manufacture date  28/4/1998
issued between manufacture and 2002
Advertiser unknown.

Hiroshima card. The only silver card in the collection.  Scan does not do it justice. Card  No 110-015. Comes with original spelling!
Teleca Card 330-46664 Teleca Card 110-699 Card 110-016 LVOQLA
manufacture date 23/11/1998
Card 110-011 A disconcerting image! Issued sometime since 1992 10th anniversary
Card 110-011 issued sometime between 1989 & 1991

NTT card 110-011, showing modified darts. Advertising estate agents.
NTT card issued 1990, number 290-533
Advertiser unknown.
Some folding, some quilling
NTT card 251-098
issued 1991 advertising childrens book by Tomu Nakamura.
NTT card 110-011
issued 1995 showing Hiroshima and peace cranes.
NTT card 110-016 showing several paper planes. Advertising Maebashi Institute of Technology


Boat single issue (Bärbel Haas [children's book author], Wir Kommen nach Köln.), Deutsche Telekom, one design out of several featuring the cartoon mice from the children's books. None of the other cards included origami. Catalogue number : A series 06 03/1997   20,000 issued. Card advertises Deutsche Telekom at a Stamp & Phonecard fair in Cologne in the spring of 1997.

Front haas_ftn.jpg Back haas_ftn.jpg


Composite dragon & leaves Catalogue number 7005.  Issued 01/1997, quantity 78,000, card system Landis & Gyr.



Classic models. A set of 4 cards, house, envelope, boat and dart, issued by Hubei Unicom, a provincial subsidiary of China Unicom. Titled "World Wind", these are international call cards. Issued circa 2002.

CNC ShenZhen area, issued 2004, traditional frog model. Chinese text only CNC ShenZhen area, issued 2005, traditional frog model. Chinese and English text.

Valentine card ~ unusual greetings card with punch-out paper telecard
china_valentine1 china_valentine2
Valentine card. Front (card folded) Valentine card. Front (card unfolded)
china_valentine3 china_valentine4
Valentine card. Back (card unfolded) Valentine card. close up of telecard
China Telecom. issued 2002

Front and back of China Telecom card issued in 2009, titled "children at play". This is one of a series of 4 cards. None of the others have origami.
Campus Life. One of a set of two cards. No origami on the other card. China telecom chip cards Fujian province (Fuzhou city)  Issued 2007.
This is a bank credit card. The dragon is a modified crane. Issued by China Postal Savings Bank.

Front and back of China telecom card issued in 2007. This is a card from Hubei province advertising Wuhan Telecom. China Tietong prepaid card Fujian province: Flight of darts. Issued 2007
China Tietong prepaid card Fujian province: Flight of darts. Issued 2006 More darts supplied by student teaching in 2007.
China Tietong prepaid card CTTSX995-P95 (4-1) expiry 2011

China Telecom, Shaanxi Province Valentines Day cranes
issued 2003
China Telecom, Shaanxi Province Valentines Day cranes expiry 2004
China Telecom, Jiangsu Province paper folding. Issued 2003. China Unicom
showing masu box (x2) & teapot folded from magazine paper
expiry 2005
China Telecom
Wuhan telecom
China Telecom
love.whphs.com, wedding reception organisers dart
issued 2005
Wuhan telecom

China Telecom
GreenPower dart
CSTC (2006-01-6-5)
issued 2006
chipcard cranes
issued 2005
CNC Beijing use only, card number BJT-201-2004-TW1 (1-1)
Issued 2004 advertising Lucky Goldstar (LG)
China Tietong, topup card number CTTSX201-P102(2-2)
issued 2010.
China Telecom
card number
TD-14 4-4(2001)
issued 2001 in Yuan City
cost 20 rmb for 20.5 worth of units

China Unicom
Hubei province
Issued 2006
card number
China Telecom
Liaoning province
Issued 2003
Card number
Only card in set of 4 with origami

China telecom prepaid phonecards,
China Eastern airlines complimentary phone cards
These cards not in my collection

One of the first cards of Kunming city, Yunnan province. Origami heart. Issued by China Telecom in 2004. Card number KM201S-2004-01-2(2-1)
CNC set of 4 cards featuring paper darts issued 2006 in Heilongjiang province
China Mobile issued 2004
card number XMMCC 2004-05(12-1)
China Telecom Yitong  3 card set featuring newspaper dart issued 2001

Set of 4 mint cards (still in original wrappers) issued by China Telecom (CNC) in 2004. Models are boat, aeroplane and flapping bird.  The fourth card has no origami on it. Card numbers FJDXKD-NP-1(4-1), (4-2), (4-3) and (4-4).
China Telecom Jiangsu province, issued 2003. Card number JSXY-53-1(1-1)
showing origami boat
China Netcom prepaid card, Liaoning province, issued 2008. Card number CNC-LNDGNCZ-2008
-12 (13-1)

Set of 4 cards issued by China Telecom (CNC) in 2006. Card numbers GDT-201-P0505(4-1), (4-2), (4-3) and (4-4). This is a puzzle set. Two puzzles, in fact, because the 20 & 30 rmb cards form one skyline and the 50 & 100 rmb cards form another.
China Telecom issued in 2005 showing origami dart. Card number JJ-201-46(2-2)
China Tietong, issued in 2008 by Beijing Telecom, one of a series featuring children's games. This card shows the card game Menko with folded pieces. Card number is CTT-BJ-CT-197200-08-T1-(10-1)

4 telecards from Zhejiang province featuring darts. Issued in 2004 (50, 100 and 500 rmb) and 2005 (200 rmb). Card issuer China Unicom. There are no numbers on the cards and they were issued at different times, so although they look at first sight to be a set this may not be the case.

Set of 4 telecards featuring origami models. Issued in 2001. Card issuer China Telecom. Card numbers XF-2001-09-(4-1) Crane, (4-2) Camel, (4-3) Elephant and (4-4) Peacock.


Traditional models SE-ED (Science Engineering and Education) Book Center. Book variety is a Thai TV program. Issued circa 2005. Both front and back of each card is shown. These are not telecards, they are debit cards.Bangkok bank card displaying strip fish (suitably coloured and with shaped tail and fins)

Issued by One-2-call! in 2009, a real topup paper telecard. Issued by TOT (Telephone of Thailand). Card 273 shows origami roses,
presumably by Kawasaki.
Issued by 1-2-Call of Thailand, this is "Origami King" a paper topup card. This is a child's design.

Issued by TOT for Pin Phone108. For domestic and international use. This card also features the crane. This card is unused (mint). Issued by True in 2007. "Together we shine!". It's a mobile top-up. Year of the pig.
Issued by Orange in 2006. "Classic Pooh". It's a mobile top-up. There is an origami hat lurking on the floor near the cut out hearts.


Selection of 6 models from Telefonica, Sao Paulo. Issued 9/2004

brazil_serieorigamitn.jpg brazil_serieorigamirevtn.jpg Card no
1 crane
2 iris
3 rabbit
4 dinosaur
5 stylised duck
6 round dragon

Quantities: cards 1 to 4 , 125,000; cards 5 (round dragon) and 6 (sylized duck), the "run" was of 50,000. A second issue was made (cards 5 & 6) which is indicated by letter A [first issue] or B [second issue] on rear of card. The fronts were unchanged between issues.

Cards are not in numerical order in graphic
Fronts Reverse

brazil_rapidintn.jpg Brazil Telecom Dia do Marinheiro (Sailors' Day)
40 units
issued 12/2007
issue qty 173,275
cat no  AV9098
Telefonica. Advert for Rapidin (Speedy), 08/2001, qty 51,000. Issued from several centres with varying quantities. Perhaps the only moneyfold telecard to date.

Telefonica. Reminiscencia Infantil (Childhood Memories), qty 400,000. Artist Ferracioll, series "Artes" issued 06/1999 Braziltelecom. Aviao de Papel (paper plane), 07/2003, qty 110,000. Appears to be advertising a children's cartoon site.

Brazil Telecom 20 units
aviãozinho de papel
issued  06/2004
issue qty 332,000
Telemar 30 units 04/2001 - liga pra mim?
[care about me?] Qty 230,000 - AV1038


Gift card set from Meijer, a Michigan based supermarket company. Stores in that state and surrounding states. Models are : Elephant (J.Cranwell), Squirrel (John Montroll), Swan (John Montroll), Armadillo (Jim Cowling) and Peacock (Robert Lang). All models are in Montroll's book "Dollar Bill Origami", except the Elephant..
Scan curtesy of  K.Knapp. Date of issue November 2007.

South Korea

The paper dart



Only catalogue numbers known. Larger scans not available.
These three cards not in my collection.
Korean Telecom
issued circa 2000
back and front shown, this is a "model design" card

This card features the traditional butterfly. Card issued 2009 by Can TV telecom. Number FF010903. A part of a social campaign. The text reads "To change depends on you". There are no instructions, just a reverse sequence of unfolding and crumpling.


This is a topup card, issued by Pelephone subsiduary Talk&Go. It features an origami swan.

3.Cards with origami-like pictures


A set of 5 cards (Hewlett-Packard) K series 225 03/1994. The designs were also used in HP newspaper ads in the UK.
HPliontn.jpg HPparrottn.jpg HPfrogtn.jpg
HPchameliontn.jpg HPelephanttn.jpg
Lion D-K-0225A-03/94 quantity 7000
Parrot D-K-0225B-03/94 quantity 7000
Frog D-K-0225C-03/94 quantity 7000
Chameleon D-K-0225D-03/94 quantity 7000
Elephant D-K-0225E-03/94 quantity 7000

Each card came in a folder showing all 5 designs on the outside.

Outside of folder Inside of folder - with card in place


Telephone card advertising a 24 hour newspaper. Quantity issued 12000. Issue date 10/99.
The shuttle is made from newspaper but, though folding is involved, there is more than one paper
and glue is more likely than not.

Front Back


Gift Wrapping NTT (250-426) 1990. Not true origami, but a printed Noshi. A noshi originally contained a gift of dried abalone [shellfish] cut in strips. Noshi's used to be folded from paper but commercialism has set in and only printed versions are currently available. The printed version shows strips inside the outer wrapper. The knotted decoration is mitsuhiki (paper covered fine wire) another Japanese craft.

Gift wrapping (110-116). Rejigged design with colour changed mitsuhiki and a different noshi.
250-426 110-116

This one is a "ringer". It is a metrocard from Japan. The artwork is American.
 It features the cartoon characters Snoopy and Woodstock.
These too are "ringers".
They are Tosho book cards from Japan.
The cards show Winnie the Pooh and an origami dart.

This is another Tosho card. The pinwheels are more likely to be kirigami.

Nissay (life insurance company), issued by Teleca 110-186736 for you, NTT card number 231-192 Ya Co.(restaurant) Chiyoda-ku Tokio
Card 110-011 issued sometime since 1992
Both these telecards show craftwork which could be taken to be origami, though I prefer to describe them as quilling This card shows containers, more likely to be cut then folded

Unknown origin featuring geometric figures. Teleca card No: 290-8874
Nothing known of designer/folder.
Teleca Card 290-8873
Clearly in the same vein as the previous card.
NTT Card 290-4029
Denso is a car part manufacturer
Not origami, but useful for geometric folders as reference.


Tourism Fair 20ª Edizione Padova, November 2003, Italcom shows a traditional windmill.
quantity issued 310,000.  This is a used card, hence the missing corner.

tuttinfiera_ftn.jpg tuttinfiera_btn.jpg
Front Back


Greek telecard, Painters - Akrithakis 2   
100 units    issue date 04-1998   
number 3141    qty issued 308,000
The green shape, right centre, is an origami boat.


Magnificent windmill, unfortunately it's a cut version. Issued by Swiss Telecom in 1999.


China telecom, papercut, card number CNT-IC-P5(4-2)

If anyone knows of other cards send a scan or, better still, send the card to me.

Acknowledgement is due to Craig Fisher for basic knowledge of Japanese cards and their identification. Visit his site for a more in-depth outline of Japanese telecards.

Number of cards in display = 254