Akagami, Aogami, Origami (Red paper, Blue paper, Folding paper)

I realized only now that since I was in quarantine (for having an unidentifiable type of influenza) that I was not able to write my “free post” for this blog. Truthfully, being in quarantine actually gave me the idea for this post.

Paper cranes in Japan. They are everywhere, and essentially every Nihonjin knows how to make one. When I came to Japan, my paper-folding skills impressed many a person because I was able to fold paper into various objects and creatures, among which is the paper crane. I heard different stories about why the crane is so popular, but why Japan?

The most popular meaning of the paper crane relates to Sadako Sasaki, a young girl dying of leukemia supposedly caused by the bombing at Hiroshima. She attempted to make 1,000 paper cranes in order to make a wish, as the popular legend goes. As the stories have it, she was unable to make all the cranes, but her friend finished making them for her. It is said that if a person were to make one thousand paper cranes the gods would grant him/her a wish. This legend, of courses, precedes that of the very popular story of Sadako Sasaki.

People in Japan use paper cranes at any occasion. At the International Festival, there were small paper cranes lining doorways and there was also a giant paper crane made of paper with several flags on it. Originally, I thought it was for good luck, but I learned that the crane symbolizes peace. Japan is all about harmony, so it would make sense that at different events there would be cranes everywhere; to keep the peace.


December 7, 2009. Uncategorized.


  1. visual gonthros replied:

    You seemed to anticipate the Japanese Culture Lab film on origami with your post here…

  2. dlag1689 replied:

    I suppose that although I was in quarantine, my subconscious self was present in Visual Anthropology that week!

  3. gtaogami replied:

    By chance I saw the post. Attracted Aogami word, that’s what I call my art. I think you will be interesting to see) http://gtaogami.wordpress.com/

  4. Chen Cen Wie replied:

    great article.. thanks for sharing..

    • dlag1689 replied:

      Thank you. I know, delayed reaction! It’s been a while since I’ve checked this blog.

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