Legend of the Crane (鶴 )

Legend of the Crane (鶴 )

May 14, 2020

  Legend of the Crane (鶴 ) : A Symbol of Hope

                                             

In Japan the crane is viewed as a national treasure. The Japanese refer to the crane as the “bird of happiness”. The large, majestic bird is a strong and elegant creature believed, in earlier times, to live for a thousand years. It was also believed that cranes had the ability to grant wishes and answer prayers. The crane’s tall stance and powerful flight pattern make it the perfect symbol of power and strength, representing good fortune and longevity. Cranes are also monogamous creatures, with long-term bonding making them a symbol of loyalty and permanence. 

                     



Origami and the crane are commonly intertwined in Japanese culture. The practice of folding paper cranes is a symbol of hope and also healing during challenging times. Traditionally it was believed that folding 1,000 origami cranes would lead to a wish coming true.


Sometimes Cranes are used as decorations at weddings and events to bring good luck.  As a wedding tradition, the bride and family members may fold cranes in hope of bringing longevity and happiness to the marriage. The practice is thought to bring good luck to the newlywed couple. 

The Senbazuru, or the folding of a thousand paper cranes, is a common practice for bringing luck. The significance of folding cranes comes from the story of Sadako Sasaki. As a young girl diagnosed with leukemia, Sasaki took to folding cranes as a way to cope with her illness. Sadako set the goal of folding 1,000 paper cranes as a symbol of hope. Today the people of Japan carry on the tradition, folding cranes in hopes of generating happiness and peace for those in need. A memorial statue of Sadako holding a paper crane still stands in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. 




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