Tag Archives: cranes

Folk Belief – Japan

“If you make 1000 cranes, you can make a wish”

When I first heard this statement, I was taking an origami class at my church with my friends in second grade.  We were learning how to make paper cranes one week when the teacher told us of the story of paper cranes.  It was believed that whoever folded a thousand cranes would be granted a wish by the gods.  According to the Japanese legend, whenever a person takes the time and effort to fold a thousand cranes, the gods become pleased, and as a reward for the folder’s hard work, the gods grant the folder one wish.  Therefore, the wish serves as an award to the folder for his dedication and devotion to the project.

Folding a thousand cranes appears to be an impossible task, but with a lot of hard work and devotion, it can be accomplished.  Because it is such a long commitment, it teaches the folder patience and the perseverance to continue making the cranes.  Therefore, in the end, it is not only the wish granted by the gods that gives the folder a sense of satisfaction but also the feeling of accomplishment from folding an entire set of one thousand cranes.  It reveals to the folders the fact that they are capable of accomplishing such a task and teaches them that anything can be achieved through a lot of hard work.

The paper crane also affects the individuals receiving the cranes as gifts.  Cranes are often seen as a symbol of good luck and hope that provides the receiver with long life and happiness.  An individual is very fortunate to receive such a gift for the cranes are folded from hours of hard work and care.  The cranes represent the love and affection the maker has for the person receiving the gift.  Therefore, receiving a wish from the gods is only one of the many benefits of folding cranes for a loved one.