Folding 1000 origami cranes is believed to bring good fortune. Today, this ancient Japanese practice has spread around the world, embodying faith, hope and peace.
According to an ancient Japanese belief, folding 1000 paper cranes can bring good fortune in your life. According to the legend, the crane may live for a thousand years; each paper crane represents one year in the majestic bird’s life. After you complete 1000 origami cranes, your wish will become truth. The 1000 origami cranes suspended in the air are often made by groups of people who join forces to achieve this goal. This tradition often supports a good cause or a special occasion like a marriage. The latter is popular with the Japanese American community, which assigns meanings to different colours: red is love, white is purity, gold is wealth, green is health, yellow is creativity, blue is loyalty, and purple is spirituality.
The custom has spread all over the world thanks to Sadako Sasaki, who was just two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. She developed leukaemia and, inspired by the senbazuru story, began folding cranes – first for her health, then, when she realised that she would not survive, for world peace. She made 644 origami, and her family and classmates completed the task and folded the missing cranes in her honour. To remember Sadako and the other children victims of the nuclear bomb, the Children’s Peace Monument has been built within the Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park. Around 10 million paper cranes are sent to the monument from all around the world every year – proof of how Sadako’s message of peace has widely flown, and an example of how one person can make a difference.
The beauty of origami is not only a practice. Ultimately, you will make something personal that you can give to someone you care about. Moreover, not only you can share the physical gift of origami, but also you can use the making process to think of your beloved ones.