Monday, 14 June 2010

Japanese Cranes

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.
There's an easy to follow 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).
I also saw strings of origami cranes in Singapore, on the altar at the Changi chapel, and they are recognised as a sign of the worldwide desire for peace.

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


  1. Hi Lis

    We read the book Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes for one of our homeschool projects last term! We all had a go at making the cranes too!

  2. Lis I just saw a dvd about Sadako not too long ago, very sad story. When I was young we used to make a lot of paper cranes for school activity. BTW, your top photo is not showing.

  3. That's better Lis and thanks for the how-to-fold link - Hugs Nat

  4. Oh my...I just had a little cry, what a sad story. We had Japanese students at the horse riding ranch I worked on and they made lots of paper cranes to decorate our share house. PS will try to photograph the kimonos tomorrow :-)


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hugs, Lis x