Friday, February 19, 2016

Senbazuru... Thousand Origami Cranes


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Senbazuru, 1000 origami cranes strung together, are found all over Japan in various kinds of locations. They are very often done in multiple colors, and in fact kits to make them this way are very common.

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Cranes were considered to live for a thousand years, hence each one represents a year. Dating back to the Edo Period, they were given as gifts for good luck to couples at weddings and new born babies etc.

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Nowadays they are most strongly associated with Sadako Sasaki, the young Hiroshima girl who died from leukemia contracted from the radiation of the Hiroshima A bomb.

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The Japanese Crane was though to be extinct, but has made a comeback though are still very rare and endagered. Edo Period cookbooks consistently ranked the crane as the best tasting bird for eating. These two facts may be related.

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All these photos are from my recent walk around Shodoshima. The last photo shows senbazuru made out of metallic paper, but hung in a cave where soot from candles and lanterns have coated them.

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