1000 Cranes Have Landed

1000 cranes proudly hang in the window at Two Hands Paperie. The lovely display was made by the shop’s intern, Sydney Adams. Sydney spent 66 hours folding recycled paper from unusable catalogues and damaged books. Why cranes? Why 1000?

Japanese legend honors the crane for its health and longevity of life. Cranes are fabled to live 1000 years, and those patient enough to fold 1000 paper cranes will be granted one wish.

Japanese marriage traditions often include a gift of 1000 cranes, presented to the future husband by his bride. The carefully folded cranes display her patient endurance and worthiness as a lifelong partner. (Sydney, our origami artist, is also a bride-to-be!)

The paper crane has also become widely known and more commonly referred to as a symbol of peace, thanks to  Sadako Sasaki and her story. The effects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II lingered long after the bomb dropped in 1945. Two-year-old Sadako Sasaki survived the blast, but was diagnosed 10 years later with leukemia as a result of the radiation.

Sadako began folding paper cranes while in the hospital, hoping to reach 1000 and be granted her one wish of health. Though she folded over 1000 cranes she died in 1955. To honor her memory, friends, schoolmates, and her community at large raised money and in 1958 unveiled a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane in the

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The inscription reads, “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.” Her story has spread worldwide, and her cranes continue to represent the sanctity of life and the desire for peace.