August 30, 2010
Do you know the story of the 1,000 origami cranes (千羽鶴)? It's a famous story in Japan about a girl named Sadako Sasaki (佐々木禎子), who tried to stave off her death from leukemia as a result of radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during the World War II by making 1,000 origami cranes. She folded 644 and died before she could reach her goal, but her classmates went on to fold the remaining 356 cranes in time for her funeral.
Her story of folding paper cranes has resonated around the world as a universal symbol of peace. Cranes also represent a gesture of caring and sympathy. In Japan, many elementary school students learn how to fold paper cranes in school, often before a trip to Hiroshima, and as a class fold 1,000 to bring with them.
I made 100 (but not 1,000) cranes for my friend last weekend. Not because she is hospitalized or anything like that but for her wedding! It's become more and more popular to use paper cranes as wedding decoration here in the states. But do you know about Paper Crane Shower (折り鶴シャワー)? In Japan, the crane is also a symbol of honor and loyalty, so it makes perfect symbol for a wedding. In the past 2 years, it's also become more and more popular for the newlywed in Japan to do Paper Crane Shower (折り鶴シャワー) instead of Flower Shower. I like this idea very much, You can ask your family and friends to make the cranes for you, or with you, it's a good chance to get your family and friends involved and bring them closer. It also save some money, and you can have the cranes in any color you want. M friends told me that little kids also had fun picking up the cranes after the wedding.
A thousand paper cranes is also traditionally given as a wedding gift by the folder, who is wishing a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple. It can also be gifted to a new baby for long life and good luck. Hanging a Senbazuru (千羽鶴) in one's home is thought to be a powerfully lucky and benevolent charm.
If you are going to have a wedding, maybe you should think about doing this Paper Crane Shower (折り鶴シャワー). You don't have to make 1,000 of them, 2 to 3 hundred will do!