Monday, April 26, 2010

1001 Cranes

This past Saturday night we went to our friend's house for dinner. They are two very dear friends who will be getting married in August of this year. She brought out her origami paper and we practiced making origami cranes. We needed serious help, and I couldnt remember for the life of me, its been almost 10 years since I had to make for my wedding! We got to talking and she didnt know the meaning and history of the 1001 cranes, so I thought this would be a great blog topic!

The tradition of the origami cranes is a combination of Japanese, Chinese and Korean traditions that stand for long life, happiness and peace, and has since evolved into what we know it today as the 1001 wedding cranes. Cranes are associated with fidelity because (like lobsters) they choose a mate for life and longevity because cranes are said to live a thousand years.

Originally in Japanese culture, the cranes were colorful and given to sick people to wish them well. The orignal tradtion started after WWII which is known as 1000 tsuru for peace. The story goes that a Japanese child was hospitalized and started making 1,000 origami tsuru and said a prayer after finishing each bird. For her patience she was told she would be rewarded with heath, happiness, longevity and good luck.

Beautiful arent they...
According to Japanese tales, folding 1,000 cranes is a 'labor of love' and a couple who achives this before their wedding will be rewarded with a long, happy marriage.

The tradtion has adapted and now you will most likely see gold cranes, which come from the Chinese tradition where gold symbolizes, weath and happiness. Occasionally you will see Red, which is a Chinese wedding color. Chinese belive red stands for happiness and it will chase the bad luck away from the couple.

This tradtion has become more of a local tradtion and has changed quite a bit but you can still see where the beliefs come from.

It is said to teach the bride patience, which comes from the old saying that it is a 'labor of love'

You will notice that it has become 1,001 cranes, as locally they have added one for good luck
You will also see the cranes being laid flat and framed as beautiful artwork to keep for many years to come

Arranging them in the design of the family mon (crest) is widely popular these days

Photo and story credits:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the meaning of this! hahaha! i would have never known the true meaning!


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