A San Francisco native, Linda Tomoko Mihara began her lifelong Origami journey at age 5. She is the granddaughter of Tokinobu Mihara, author of two of the first books on Origami written in English in the early 1950’s.
Linda received the 2015 Asian Pacific American Heritage Award from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee for her work in Origami design and for her contributions to the Asian Pacific American community. She has won awards for her innovative Origami art, including the Award of Excellence, the Juror’s Award, and Awards of Merit from the California State Fair Fine Art Compititions. Her professional folding is used in both private and commercial work; she appears at conventions and events around the world. Her clients include Pixar, Hermés of Paris, Chanel, Industrial Light and Magic, Chloe, Louis Vuitton and Seiko. Linda has created origami for TVcommercials for Disney, McDonald’s, Mitsubishi Motors, Clear Haircare and Febreze. She has curated many Origami exhibits including most recently at the National History Museum in Taipei, Taiwan.
While she continues her creative work in Origami, Linda manages Paper Tree, the family business in San Francisco’s Japantown. This year marks the 51tst anniversary of the business, which started in 1968 when the Japanese Cultural Center opened in the redeveloped area called Nihonmachi. In 1974, Paper Tree moved to a new home on the historic Buchanan Mall, which is home to origami inspired fountains by Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa. In 2018, Paper Tree capped their 50th anniversary by becoming a San Francisco Legacy Business. The Paper Tree continues to serve the community by participating and supporting the various community events, including the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festivals and Nihonmachi Street Fairs.