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One Thousand Origami Cranes - Senbazuru - The Art Of Japanese Paper Folding by TinyShiny - Little Akiko



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Thousand Cranes (Senbazuru)

When I was a kid in the elementary school, I leaned how to fold the origami crane that everybody knows in Japan.

The Thousand Cranes are:
  • 1000 origami cranes bunched together using some kind of string,

  • A drawing or painting of a thousand cranes,
  • A print of many cranes on a cloth.

  • In Japan, the crane is a symbol of long life.

    We believe that to fold a thousand cranes can cure an illness or help to live a longer life. Japanese people often give a thousand cranes to a sick person in hospital.

    When a fellow student was in the hospital, my classmates and the entire school body, would produce origami cranes so that they could be strung together and brought to the sick student. Each student would fold one or two origami cranes until there were enough for the thousand.

    How to make Thousand Cranes:

    1. Make 1000 origami cranes (see project: How To Make an Origami Crane)
    2. Put strings through 20 to 100 cranes (I put 40 cranes per string).
    3. Put something on the bottom of the string (You can use a button, bead, etc…) to prevent the cranes from coming off the string.
    4. Bunch them together and tie the strings at the top.
    There is no rule for colour. Also you can open the wings if you like.

    I made this thousand cranes by myself (this is my 2nd time).

    It was hard to make them alone especially because my cranes are so small (I used 1.9cm square origami paper). It felt good to finish the project. One advantage the Tiny 1000 Cranes is that they don’t need much space to be hanged.

    I make the same size cranes for my Origami Earrings.

      Thousand Cranes at a shrine in Kamakura, Japan

    From olden days in Japan, it is a custom to dedicate the origami crane to the shrine.

    These days, people bring the Thousand Cranes to shrines in order to wish for happiness, success, and peace; or to pray for their favourite sports team.


    Go to Origami Projects at

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    Read about Origami History at