Thursday, August 5, 2010

Senbazuru 千羽鶴

Japanese legend advises that a person who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted his or her greatest wish. The origami crane has also become a symbol of peace because of this legend, and because of a young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki. Sadako was exposed to the radiation of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as an infant, and it took its inevitable toll on her health. Hearing this legend, she decided to fold one thousand origami cranes so that she could live. Later, realizing that she would not survive, she wished instead for world peace and an end to suffering. A group of one thousand paper cranes is called senbazuru, and they are also common sites at Buddhist temples - like these at Suma temple. The crane symbol also has a long history with Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. One legend tells of a high-ranking Taoist priest who, upon his death, turned into a crane.

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