Cranes of hope, happiness ready for flight
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.
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.