The 1000 Cranes Legend

The crane has long been a symbol in Asian cultures representing good health, longevity, truth and fidelity. The regal, upright carriage of these elegant birds reflects their dignified status as the noble birds most worthy of serving as messengers to the ancient immortals. According to ancient Chinese legends, cranes were thought to be “well-behaved like gentlemen, incorruptible and naturally clean and honest.” To be compared to a crane, then, ranked among the highest compliments. A respected person was often called “a figure extolled by the crane”; this was commonly understood to be a refined way of praising someone for being exceptionally honest and morally upright. Likewise, someone could also be compared to “a crane standing among chickens,” indicating that person’s special abilities and obvious, comparative superiority.

In the late 1700s in Japan, one of the first books on origami was published with the title, “How to Fold 1,000 Cranes.” The easy-to-follow directions and beautiful end result ensure the continuing popularity of the origami crane. When one thinks of the art of Origami, the crane is the traditional symbol of this art of paper folding. Moreover, the crane’s habit of mating with only one partner for the duration of its life caused it to become a strong symbol for marital fidelity and honor. As a result, the origami crane also became a powerful symbol for loyalty, nobility, and beauty. According to Japanese tradition, anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the cranes’ loyalty and recreated their beauty.

Sadako Sasaki also became famous for her own attempt to fold 1,000 cranes in the 1950s. When Sadako was only two years old, she was exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, in Japan. As she grew up, she developed leukemia. Suffering from the deadly disease, she learned the ancient tradition about the 1,000 paper cranes. Inspired to follow the legend, Sadako folded paper cranes in her hospital bed, praying for world peace. Sadako died when she was only 12, before she could finish 1,000 cranes. As a tribute to Sadako’s life and selfless wishes, her classmates folded the remaining cranes, and Sadako Sasaki was buried with the full 1,000 cranes. Her story stands as an inspiration to all, and a testament to the continued power of the paper crane as a compelling symbol for hope, love, honor, and peace.

The traits of peace, nobility, loyalty, truth, longevity and superior service are cornerstones to the philosophy of 1000 Cranes, LLC. It is our pleasure that you have chosen us to act as stewards for your cause through our business consulting efforts, and it is our hope that we continue to build collaborative relationships in the years to come. Thank you for giving 1000 Cranes the opportunity to be a part of your business!