My Visit to Japan - 6
I've just spent the weekend in Norfolk where I was delighted to read about the successful breeding of a pair of Japanese Cranes (or Red-Crowned Cranes). You can read the whole story from the EDP (Eastern Daily Press) here:
Meet the rare birds with eggs the size of rugby balls - Norfolk News - EDP24
The Japanese crane is a symbol of good luck in Japan and a mystical creature. We were delighted to have origami cranes on our pillows when we stayed in Tokyo recently.
How-to fold an origami crane here
There is an ancient Japanese legend that promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted their wish and strings of folded paper cranes are often seen on shrines and memorials such as this one Eternal flame of peace, Toshogu shrine, Tokyo (more about that in a later post).
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a non-fiction children's book written by American author Eleanor Coerr and published in 1977.
The story is of a girl, Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bombing by the United States. She developed leukemia from the radiation and spent her time in a nursing home folding paper cranes in hope of making a thousand, which supposedly would have allowed her to make one wish, which was to live. However, she managed to fold 644 before she became too weak to fold any more, and died shortly after. Her friends and family helped finish her dream by folding the rest of the cranes which was buried with Sadako and build a statue of Sadako holding a giant golden paper crane in Hiroshima Peace Park after she died. Now every year on O Bon Day, which is a holiday in Japan to remember the fallen ones of the bombings, thousand of people leave paper cranes near the statue. On the statue is a plaque: "This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth."
The book has been translated to many languages and published in many places, to be used for peace education programs in primary schools. (Taken from Wikipedia)