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Goin’ Japanesque!

1000 Paper Cranes: Origami that Commemorates Survivors of the Atomic Bomb

There are probably already many of you who know about Japanese origami, paper cranes and the 1,000 paper cranes (known as “senbazuru”). However, we thought we should write about it at least once because there may be parts unknown to the younger generations. And, despite being in an age full of information, we believe that as those sharing this information become fewer and fewer, it will be buried by other stories.
*Survivors of the Atomic Bomb: Hibakusha (被爆者)


What is Senbazuru?


The crane is likely the most famous of all origami, and making 1,000 of them and stringing them together is known as senbazuru. Cranes were originally a symbol of longevity so, in Japan, there’s a tradition of bringing senbazuru to those who are hospitalized.

In Japan, we have a saying: “Tsuru wa sennen, kame wa mannen” (the crane lives 1,000 years, the turtle 10,000) so they’re good omens.

*When handing over a senbazuru to someone in the hospital, it’s best to be sensitive about their condition and situation. Also, it’s not necessary to have exactly 1,000 cranes. It’s the thought that counts.


Senbazuru and the Atomic Bomb

The Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: Map

Senbazuru are also symbolic of peace. This comes from Sadako Sasaki, the model for the Children’s Peace Monument, who made many paper cranes from the time she was exposed to radiation from the bomb until her death, wishing for recovery and to live a long life. Even now, on 8/6, the day of the bombing, many senbazuru from all over are sent here.


The story we’ve shared today is a very famous one, but it’s one we feel is important to firmly cement in the younger generations and be passed down to the future generations.

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