So in Japan origami cranes have a ton of significance, as you saw with Riley’s post. My mom and I visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York City two years ago and were taken aback by tons and tons of cranes on their walls and ceilings lined with origami cranes sent by Japanese school children. OrigamiUSA alone received over 18,000 in the weeks and months after the World Trade Center attacks. Those Cranes were distributed to fire houses and schools that were affected in the lower Manhattan area.
“In Japanese popular culture, the “Thousand Origami Cranes” — Senbazuru or Zenbazuru — has come to reference world peace through the poignant story of Sadako Sasaki, a girl who contracted leukemia as a result of radiation from the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Based on ancient Japanese legend, anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will be granted a wish by the crane honored in origami form. Wishing good health, Sadako began to fold the cranes after her diagnosis, but only made 644 before she died. Her classmates folded the remaining cranes, which were then buried with her. In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane in outstretched hands was erected in Hiroshima Peace Park, with the inscription, “This is our cry, this is our prayer; peace in the world.”In a letter to Nino Vendrome of Nino’s restaurant, the Japanese class wrote, “We folded our cranes with the same wish in mind, and thought it fitting to place the cranes in New York.”
A statue of Sadako in Seattle, Washington, covered with origami cranes.
The original Sadako statue in Hiroshima.
A Sadako statue in a peace garden in Wales.
Another Sadako statue in Salt Lake City, Utah
There are nearly a dozen more around the U.S.!
Here’s instructions on how to make your own! https://origamiusa.org/files/traditional-crane.pdf