In Japan, cranes are a symbol of longevity, and one old phrase says, “Cranes live a thousand years.” A thousand was a poetic way of saying a large amount. Thus came to be the tradition of folding 1,000 origami cranes, called Senbazuru (Sen-Baa-Zoo-Roo). If a person folded 1,000 cranes, they would be granted a wish. This tradition was popularized by the story of Sadako and her 1,000 cranes. Because cranes mate for life, 1,000 folded paper cranes are often gifted to couples at marriages as a symbol of luck for their time together. As time continued on, they have also become symbols of hope, healing, and peace.
Want to make your own crane? Learn how with this video:
Want to learn more about Sadako and her cranes? Check out these books:
- Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
- The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Cranes
- Sadako's Cranes
Learn more about the art of origami with this booklist!