Sunday, August 28, 2016

1000 Paper Cranes

It is said that if you make 1,000 千羽鶴 Origami Paper cranes are you granted a wish by the Gods. Still other stories believe you are granted eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life or recover from illness or injury. Either way, I am going for it. It's soothing and a bit meditative.

In Japan, the crane is one of the mystical or holy creatures and is said to live for a thousand years. In some stories it is believed that the 1000 cranes must be completed within one year and they must all be made by the person who is to make the wish at the end.

The 1000 Origami cranes were popularized through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was 24 months old when she was exposed to the radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during WWII. At the age of 12, Sadako developed leukemia. After spending significant time in the hospital, Sadako began folding cranes with the legend in mind. She folded only 644 before she became to weak to fold anymore. In her honor, her classmates folded the rest for her.  There is another version of the story, that she did in fact fold nearly 1,400 cranes. In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled. Every year on Obon Day, people leave paper cranes to remember the departed spirit's of one's ancestors. 

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