Paper Cranes

The practice of paper cranes and the meaning behind it.

The paper crane originated from China, back then only rich people could afford paper to do paper crane for decoration or as a hobby. Later on the practice spreaded to Japan. The paper crane held a different new meaning in Japan. Sadako Sasaki, was exposed to atomic bomb’s ionizing radiation in 1945, which resulting her to develop leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow. During the time leading to her death, Sadako folded one thousand paper cranes, each paper crane that she folded, she lets out her pain and suffering. After Sadako’s death, the paper crane symbolized peace and healing. In 2007, Sadako’s family started to donate her paper crane around the world to places that need peace and healing. The Sasaki’s family also gave a paper crane to Clifton Truman Daniel, whom grandfather, U.S President Harry S. ordered to atomic bombs during 1945, asking to send a message of peace.

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What Happened in Isla Vista?

In 2014, in a small town called Isla Vista located in Santa Barbara, six students tragically passed away under Elliot Rodger’s gun, on top of that, he also injured 14 other students. Elliot Rodger planned to do a massive shooting for years, he finally carried out his plans in May 2014, causing the death of George Chen, James Hong, David Wang, Katherine Cooper, Christopher Martinez and Veronika Weiss.

The Connection between paper cranes and what happened in Isla Vista.

The tragedy left a deep wound in many students and families’ hearts. For a while, the grieving period was extremely difficult, so people gathered together as a community to help each other. There are many remembrance sites around UCSB campus and Isla Vista and paper cranes in the Student Resource Building is one of them. The students folded one thousand paper cranes, including six strands of blue paper cranes representing the six lives that were tragically taken away in May 2014. Paper cranes symbolized healing and peace, three years later, folding and hanging the paper cranes as a part of remembering what happened, showed that the community wanted to promote peace and taking the first step into healing. Also, it is to remind all of us that peace is what we need in this chaotic world.

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1 thought on “Paper Cranes

  1. If a paper crane was given to the descendants of those who did the Sasaki family wrong, does the installation also emphasize forgiveness as part of the healing process? Is it even possible for Elliot Rodgers to be forgiven given that he has expressed no remorse? (However, going back to the bombings, it is also true that the United States have not apologized for Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but bringing that up would deviate considerably from your post).

    Liked by 1 person

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