Cranes of hope, hap­pi­ness ready for flight

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

Two months af­ter fold­ing their first pa­per cranes – a Mata­mata Col­lege team of origami ex­perts have fin­ished their last.

The eight stu­dents have folded 1000 cranes to send to Ja­pan as a sym­bol of hope af­ter the March tsunami and earth­quake.

Most didn’t have a clue how to make pa­per cranes when they started but af­ter a tu­to­rial and a bit of prac­tise, they spent ev­ery lunch time this term work­ing to reach their goal.

When Ja­panese in­ter­na­tional stu­dent Ryoko Tay­ofuku first heard about the tsunami, she said she wanted to go back and help her coun­try.

‘‘Since this was im­pos­si­ble, our teacher Mrs Mor­ton, came up with an idea of us mak­ing 1000 cranes to send over,’’ she said.

‘‘In Ja­pan, cranes are a sym­bol of hope, peace and hap­pi­ness for­ever; it is Ja­pan’s na­tional bird as well. One thou­sand cranes are of­ten given to those who need re­stored hope.’’

Send­ing 1000 cranes to Ja­pan was an in­ter­na­tional cam­paign that many peo­ple around the world joined.

‘‘We are send­ing them to the town Sendai, which was one that was most dam­aged in the re­cent disas­ter,’’ said Ryoko.

‘‘The 1000 cranes can’t help re­con­struc­tion di­rectly but we wish peo­ple will re­ceive them with lots of love and hope.’’

The mak­ing of 1000 cranes was made sig­nif­i­cant when a bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and thou­sands suf­fered from ra­di­a­tion sick­ness as a re­sult. Sadako Sasaki, who was sick from ra­di­a­tion at the time, be­came a sym­bol in Ja­pan for the cranes and started mak­ing cranes. She passed away be­fore she reached 1000 but friends made the rest to bury with her.

Mata­mata Col­lege

stu­dent Jemima An­to­nio, 15, from Fiji helped make the cranes for a new cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘It was very cool to have a new cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence and learn some­thing new. While we were mak­ing them, I taught ev­ery­one about my cul­ture and that we make flax mats for peo­ple in­stead of cranes.’’

Re­stored hope: Eight Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents have made 1000 origami cranes to send to Ja­pan as a sign of hope af­ter the coun­try’s re­cent dev­as­ta­tion.

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