The Thousand Paper Crane Challange

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

The past few days I have been folding paper cranes. I am doing this as a challenge for myself. My goal is to fold a thousand paper cranes so I can send them to Hiroshima, Japan where they will be placed under the Sadako Sasaki statue (also known as the Children’s Peace Monument).

Paper Crane
Paper Crane

The Children’s Peace Monument was built in remembrance to Sadako Sasaki and all other children who died from the effects of the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945 (this is also the year Anne Frank died at the Bergen- Belsen Concentration Camp). Sadako was only two years old when the United States dropped the bomb, but at age 11 she was diagnosed with leukemia. At the hospital, a friend told her about the legend of the paper cranes. If Sadako was to fold a thousand origami cranes then she will be granted a wish. Some sources say that Sadako only managed to fold 644 cranes before she died at age 12, and that her friends folded the remaining cranes so she can be buried with the thousand. Other sources say that she reached her goal and kept folding more.

Whichever ending happens to be the true one, Sadako did not wish on each crane for her health to get better. She kept watching her friends at the hospital die of the cancer and instead wished for there to be no more wars so no child would ever have to die from an atomic bomb ever again. The book I read in elementary school “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” did not reference this at all. Her friends raised money to build a monument in Sadako’s honor at Hiroshima Peace Park. She holds a golden crane in her arms. At the foot of the statue a plaque reads “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.”

Photo from Kotatsufestival.com
Photo from Kotatsufestival.com

People from all over the world fold paper cranes and wish for peace on them so they can be placed at the statue. Japan celebrates August 6 as Peace Day. My goal is to fold a thousand origami cranes into a ceiling art piece and wish for peace on each one. I will send them to Japan when I am done so they can be placed at her statue. There is also a Sadako Statue at Seattle Peace Park in Seattle, Washington.

Photo from magnoliavoice.com
Photo from magnoliavoice.com

You can learn to fold the cranes with the link below. I have found it quite relaxing to fold these cranes. My goal is to do a few a day. I have so far folded 30 cranes using recycled magazines and I bought a pack of origami paper. Only 970 to go!

ceiling-art
Crane chain

crane-chain 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_Sasaki

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