Imagine the craft of origami, and chances are your mind will immediately jump (or fly!) to the quintessential paper crane. For thousands of years the Japanese have celebrated the crane as a symbol of loyalty and honor. A majestic, beautiful bird, the crane mates for life and is extremely loyal to its partner. Over time the crane symbolism has grown into a general intention of good luck, reason enough to inspire people to craft up many a crane in paper and bestow them as gifts.
Ancient Japanese legend has it that folding 1000 paper cranes will invite a crane to appear and grant one single wish. This creation of one thousand paper cranes, also known as senbazuru, has since evolved into an offering, traditionally given as a wedding gift, bestowing a wish of a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple. They can also be gifted to a new baby for a long life and good luck. This celebrated tradition originally appeared in a book from the late 1700s called Hiden Senbazuru Orikata (translated as Secret to Folding One Thousand Cranes) and continues enthusiastically today. Experiencing renewed interest after the recent earthquake devastation in Japan, many have been lovingly creating their own chains of a thousands paper cranes for fundraising benefits and gifts of intention to assist the affected. Learn more about senbazuru at the wonderful Senbazuru site, where you’ll get more about the history and helpful how-to instructions to make your own 1000 paper cranes.
One quick spin around Etsy, and it’s easy to see that many crafters and artists across various media have been inspired by the beauty and symbolism of the elegantly folded paper crane. Keep reading the rest of this post to peruse some of these works that I fond particularly interesting (with links to their shops!), and perhaps be inspired to create your own creative homage to the crane …
Visit Porsie’s Etsy Shop
Visit Made By Jo’s Etsy Shop
Visit Alison Tyne’s Etsy Shop
Visit Hello Amor’s Etsy Shop
Visit Nine Volt’s Etsy Shop