Today, I went about my routine script as I talked to my new student and little did I know that I would learn something remarkable about one of my hobbies. Anyway, I made my typical self introduction almost in a robot like manner after I heard my student talk about himself. And then when I finished, he asked me about my hobby which was doing origami, the art of paper folding. I then told him that I first learned of it from a senpai who taught me how to fold the crane.
We later talked about the practice of folding 1000 cranes to make a wish come true. I told him I knew about it from shoujo manga and some popular anime such as the more recent Code Geass. Remember the part where Nunnally Lamperouge was folding paper cranes? Anyway, my student told me that this practice originally started some 60 years ago during the second World War. During the bombing in Hiroshima, a Japanese girl, named Sadako Sasaki, was experiencing the after effects of the bomb. She became terribly sick and so her bestfriend came to her and started folding the cranes in high hopes that when she completes the 1000 cranes, her bestfriend would recover from her illness. But of course, she died.
It’s incredibly sad, isn’t it? Anyway, her story was made well known after her death and so later, a memorial was made for her and the other children who died due to the Hiroshima bombing.
A statue of Sadako Sasaki holding a giant crane was put up and around it were glass cases containing origami paper cranes made especially by Japanese preschoolers as a dedication to Sadako Sasaki, the victims of the bombing, and to peace.
Later, I asked another student of mine about why it had to be the crane.
He told me that the crane, now an endangered specie in Japan, is a symbol of long life because it was one of the longest living birds in their country. But after the war, especially due to the Sadako Sasaki story, the crane became a symbol for peace.