Folding Paper

More towards #1000cranes made at lunch. Current total 94.
More towards #1000cranes made at lunch. Current total 94., originally uploaded by tyroga.

There’s a japanese legend that says if you fold 1,000 Origami Cranes you are granted a wish. Often used to recover from ill health or for the promise of long life.

There is also the story of Sadako Sasaki the young Japanese girl who died from radiation poisoning, a result of the US attack on Japan using two atomic bombs on the cities of Horoshima and Nagasaki.

I fold cranes as a matter of course, it’s something I do when I’m bored or when I have some paper laying around and it looks to be about the shape of a square. It’s something I’ve done since a young age and pretty much the only origami I know how to make by heart.

So I’m currently on a quest to see how many I can do before my fingers fall off. Pushed on by the community I’m attempting to forge on Instagr.am based on the idea of folding the cranes in memory of the Japanese people who have lost their lives and the very brave men who are (at time of posting) still working in the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan.

These men are so incredibly amazing. The first fifty to enter the building when it was most dangerous did so knowing that in all likelihood they may die, but knowing if they didn’t act a lot more people will die.

It turns out that yes, these first fifty have received levels of radiation far exceeding the healthy or acceptable dose and yes they will die from their exposure.

Someone asked me on Instagr.am why I’m doing it and my reply was basically

That the story goes that young Sadako Sasaki, while dying, folded cranes in hope that her wish would be granted. It is assumed her wish would be to be healed from radiation that was killing her. But just before she died, having folded 1,000 cranes, Sadako made a wish for peace. So we fold our cranes now, with each presss of the paper, each groove we make, each fold we create we wish and we hope for the safety of the Japanese people during this terrible time.

Sounds a little lame, and I don’t know if my fingers will make it to 1,000 but that’s what the community is for, to pick up the slack.

So I’m asking anyone with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to download Instagr.am, fold a paper crane, take a photo and submit it to Instagr.am with the tag #1000cranes.

Join in and let’s see if we can get to 1000 and make our wish for the health and safety of the Japanese.

The picture above I took at lunch after folding the five cranes. I’m currently at 94, so I have a fair way to go. I’ve stopped folding their wings out because they started taking up way too much room. The cranes are sitting on my iPad cover, both the cranes and the cover are actually black. I really like the way this image has turned out on Instagr.am.

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