Thousand Cranes for One Wish: Relief and Hope in Japan! – Lesson 8

Thousand Cranes | Useful Origami

Just like any other countries do, Japanese people tend to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. In one particular traditional Japanese saying, cranes are said to live for thousands of years. (Thousand is not a literal number here, but rather a general connotation of “many.”) I have heard before that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be given a wish for the reward of the effort and the prayer.

I also heard a cool story about a Japanese girl that popularized the Japanese culture of thousand cranes. My friend Sarah, who has put together an explanation on the story, wrote:

Thousand Cranes | Useful Origami“In 1955, a young Japanese girl named Sadako heard this legend, and decided to try folding 1,000 cranes to cure her of the leukemia she had contracted as a result of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  She passed away before she was able to complete them, but not before leaving behind her desire for peace in the world.  Sadako’s prayer for peace has become synonymous with the paper crane, and is remembered every year when children worldwide fold thousands of paper cranes for Peace Day on August 6.

I have mentioned in Lesson 6 that a group of students on campus including me were putting together a fundraising event with the hope for Japan’s recovery from the devastating disaster. In this post, I would like to give you an update on the fundraiser for Quake &  Tsunami Relief Effort.

With our busy schedule, we were not able to make a literal thousand cranes for the hope of Japanese peoples’ recovery, but we came up with an idea to help people in Japan financially – even a bit and simultaneously raise awareness for people on campus that there are still people suffering in Japan.

We decided to make and sell paper cranes for 50 cents a piece. All the proceeds will go to World Vision’s Japan Quake and Tsunami Relief. We had an origami folding session right away, in which we taught and folded origami cranes together. Then we set up a table in the Student Union of Grove City College, selling cranes we made. We have been very successful so far and raised over 600 dollars in just three days. All the people who came up to our table to purchase our cranes have been very generous and I’ve seen many times when people just leave some money as a donation.

To show my appreciation, I’d like to repost the instructions on how to make the basic cranes AND show you one of many rare variations of origami cranes.

Basic Origami Peace Crane:

Origami Crane | Useful Origami

What you need:
  • A sheet of origami paper, or just a square paper
Instruction: (click on an image to start the slideshow)

Wavy-Wing Origami Crane:

Wavy-Wing Origami Crane | Useful Origami

This crane can stand alone steadily, and since a crane is a symbol of good health and prosperity, it’ll be a great part favor!

What you need:
  • A sheet of origami paper, or just a square paper