May 14, 2009

japanese culture :: senbazuru

senbazuru is strings of one thousand origami(paper) cranes. we say if we fold one thousand origami cranes with wish, the wish will come true. so, we fold them one by one by wishing recorvery for someone's illness. or we wish for the world peace.

a week ago, when i went to Kp's parents house, his mom was folding them. his dad's co-worker is in the hospital, so they decided to fold them and give him as a present. i haven't fold them for a while and i forgot how to fold one crane. but as i was trying, fingers taught me how to start folding it. and thanks to my grandma who i had lived with and had passed away when i was four, taught me lots, i remembered most of the part. however, in some parts, my fingers stopped and couldn't get the right way, then Kp's mom taught me with smile. i loved the time. so much. feeling one of the japanese culture. and remembering my grandma. and wishing the person who i don't know's good health by folding some cranes with mother-in-low.

this picture is from Hiroshima. i've visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Musium about five years ago. there were tons of senbazuru hanging there. for world peace. so beautiful. those wishes makes them even more beautiful.

when i was teaching English at an elementary school, students there were folding them for a police officer who was accidently killed by a man. the idea was the students'. such lovely idea.
children are good at folding origami. they fold during their break time between classes. not only senbazuru. balls, animals, charactors, planes and more. students often gave me to show their love towards me by folding them. even boys. so cute! and i got tons and tons of them on the last day of the school year. folding origami is great for their brains, too. i hope this kind of culture will be taught to younger ones from generations to generations. if i could become a mother, i would teach my children how to fold origami and i will ask their grandma to teach them, too. that will be a wonderful memory for the little ones...


  1. Hello,
    I ran into your shop at etsy last week. You have a nice shop! Nice Japanese Fabric as well. I remember folding paper cranes when I was in middle school-many years ago. We gave folded paper cranes to friends and wish them good luck in Taiwan. We also do some starts folding. I still make some starts for fun!

  2. Hello,

    I found your shop in etsy last week. You have a nice shop and great Japanese Fabric. Thank you for sharing your life in Japan. I visited Japan a couple times while I was in college. I remember folding paper cranes when I was in middle school. We gave the paper cranes to friends and wish them good luck. I also fold starts for friends as well. Do you do that in Japan?

  3. Hello:)

    thank you so much for your comment and sharing your life, too! hmmm, stars... no, i didn't fold stars to friends. but it sounds great:) i am surprised that somewhere out japan had a similar way to cheer someone up by folding origami:) we fold so many things to play with, too, when i was little.

  4. This is such a beautiful story about your Grandma, and a great tradition!

  5. thank you:) i love the traditon, too. and the time i spent with my grandma. she passed away when i was little but i remember her pretty well. all about folding origami paper or playing cats cradle. i miss the time.