Ever since I can remember, I’ve been deeply interested in the cultures of Asia, but more specifically Japanese culture. Since I have yet to travel to Asia, my interactions with Japanese culture have been through museum collections, Japanese art history courses, community cultural events and of course, friends.
When I learn of all the terrible events going in the world, I think. I think and continue to think and think. The process is exhausting, but sometimes placing ourselves in perspective of what is going on around us, remind us why we are all here.
I’ve been thinking of the story of Sadako Sasaki, the little girl who survived the dropping of the Hiroshima bomb at age 2, but died at age 12 as a result of developing leukemia at 11. Sadako had heard of the legend of hand-folding one thousand paper cranes which promised that anyone who folds a group of one thousand cranes would be granted one wish. With a strong desired to live, Sadako began folding paper cranes with one wish in mind: good health. She died before the project was completed, but Sadako’s classmates finished folding the cranes.
This is our story. With one wish in mind, we fold one thousand cranes for Japan (and for the world). This past weekend, I was reminded of Sadako and starting folding paper cranes with my 5 year old nephew. Granted he was more interested in learning how to fold crabs, snails and penguins than folding cranes, it was the process of self-discovery that mattered. As I keep thinking of my friends in Japan and everyone affected by this tragic event, I will fold one crane unti I reach one thousand. Little did I know that all those packets of origami paper I found at Goodwill last summer would come in handy one day
It has been said that chains of a thousand paper cranes ease pain and sadness and bring hope to people who see them.