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Nagano: ‘Village of stars’ earns world record recognition

The Yomiuri Shimbun
This mosaic art in Achi, Nagano Prefecture, was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the largest display of origami stars.

NAGANO — The village of Achi, Nagano Prefecture, has been recognized with a Guinness World Record for the “largest display of origami stars.” The mosaic artwork is 4.2 meters tall and 9.8 meters wide, with a depth of 2.5 meters. It is made of 44,136 stars.

The village and other organizations produced the artwork to take advantage of its reputation of having the best night sky in Japan. Beginning in January, about 1,000 local residents, elementary and junior high school students and others came together with the help of about 100 companies to fold 7.5 cm by 7.5 cm origami papers that came in 12 colors into stars that are 5 cm by 5 cm.

The stars were put in place one by one on paper boards at the Seichu Plaza gymnasium. The mosaic features the village’s goodwill ambassadors Kiki and Lala, who are the Little Twin Stars characters from Sanrio, and other motifs.

Guinness World Records officials apparently checked each star to make sure they were in the proper shape and spent about two hours counting. Three hundred and twenty-eight stars were disqualified, but the village still came out way ahead of the previous record holder from Australia, which had made 21,102 stars.

A Guinness official handed the world-record certificate to Achi Mayor Hideki Kumagai.

“I can feel the weight of the record in this certificate,” he said. “This is thanks to so many who helped us.”

The mosaic artwork will be on display at the village gymnasium until May 9. Viewing is limited to residents of Achi from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., but open to the general public from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free.