Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Crane

Perhaps the most well known origami model is the crane. It has become the international symbol of peace. In Japan every child eventually learns to make the crane. Eleanor Coerr is credited with popularizing the crane with her book, "Sadako and 1,000 Paper Cranes." This book, which is widely available, tells the story of a young girl who was exposed to the radiation from the atomic bomb that the U.S., dropped which helped to end World War Two. Several years later she develops leukemia. Her friend visits her in the hospital with an origami crane. She tells Sakako that the crane is a symbol of health and that if Sadako can make 1,000 cranes she will be well. Her friend proceeds to teach her to make the crane: it isn't easy but when Sadako masters it, she begins her quest to make 999 more. She is resolved to be brave and making the cranes takes her mind off her illness. As she attracts the attention of the hospital staff and other visitors, they provide her with x-ray foil wrappers, magazines and other papers for her project. As other patients show interest, she stops folding and teaches them to make the cranes too.
Learning that her illness came as a result of war, Sadako spreads her message of peace as she folds her cranes. Soon she has folded hundreds of cranes. Her health improves and she is allowed to come home. But, when her illness returns and her strength weakens, sadly, she isn't able to complete her project. With less than 700 cranes completed, Sadako lapses into a coma and dies. When her classmates realize that she had not been able to complete her dream they all decide to learn how to fold the crane. Soon the 1,000 cranes are complete.
The children decide to write to other children all over Japan to tell them of the story of Sadako and ask them to contribute money for a monument in her name to spread her message of peace. When the Japanese government learns of this plan they decide to rename a park in Hiroshima "Peace Park." There they erect a huge statue with a replica of Sakako holding up a giant crane. Her classmates were given the honor of deciding what to write on the base of the statue. This is what they chose:
This is our cry
This is our prayer
Peace in the world
So you see, the work of just one child has made people all over the world aware of the need for a peace. When you have completed some "First Steps" in origami, you can try your hand at the crane. The instructions can be found here.

So what are you waiting for? 

Follow our instructions below to get started on your first crane! 

1. Start with a square piece of paper, coloured side up.
Fold the top corner of the paper down to the bottom corner. Crease and open again. Then fold the paper in half sideways.
2. Turn the paper over to the white side.
Fold the paper in half, crease well and open, and then fold again in the other direction.

3. Using the creases you have made, Bring the top 3 corners of the model down to the bottom corner. Flatten model.

4. Fold top triangular flaps into the centre and unfold
5. Fold top of model downwards, crease well and unfold

6. Open the uppermost flap of the model, bringing it upwards and pressing the sides of the model inwards at the same time.
Flatten down, creasing well.

7. Turn model over and repeat Steps 4-6 on the other side.
8. Fold top flaps into the centre.

9. Repeat on other side, so your model looks like this.
10. Fold both ‘legs’ of model up, crease very well, then unfold.

11. Inside Reverse Fold the “legs” along the creases you just made.
12. Inside Reverse Fold one side to make a head, then fold down the wings

Finished Crane!

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