Thursday, February 24, 2011

1000 paper cranes

Cranes pair for life and represent faithfulness, longevity, prosperity, wisdom, loyalty, vigilance and peace. In legend it is said that they carry the prayers for those lost in war and take the souls of the deceased on their backs to the Western Paradise.

In the 11th century Kamakura period of Japan, during the celebration of a Buddhist festival, the people tied prayers to the legs of cranes for those who were lost in battle. Then set them free to carry their prayers of peace off to the world.

This reminds me of a quote by a 12 year old girl.

“I will write peace on your wings
And you will fly all over the world.”

Sadako Sasaki was born in Hiroshima, Japan. She was two years old when the United States dropped an atom bomb on the city. When she was 12 years old and sick in the hospital with leukemia her friend Chizuko brought some paper and reminded her friend the story of the old crane that lived 1000 years. And if someone folded 1000 paper cranes, the gods would grant that person a wish.

Sadako started to fold paper cranes and was able to fold 644 before she died. Her class mates folded the remaining 356 and all the cranes were buried with her.

There is a statue in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park at the Children’s Peace Monument of Sadako holding a paper crane. Every year on August 6th thousands of paper cranes are placed at the memorial.

I am working of folding 1000 paper cranes to add my voice to the plea at the base of Sadako’s statue.

“This is our cry,
This is our prayer,
Peace in the world.”


  1. Wow. Did you read the book? I've had it marked to read....perhaps I'll go get it this week.

  2. Beth, I have read it. I hope you get a chance to read it.

  3. And have you seen this blog?

  4. No I haven't. Thanks for the link Beth. I will go check it out.