In 1955, a young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki made approximately 1,300 origami cranes. She was trying to invoke the power of a folk tale that promised the granting of one wish to anyone who could fold one thousand cranes. Whichever gods were responsible for following up on that promise must have been occupied with other business in 1955, because Sadako died on October 25th of that year. A resident of Hiroshima, she had been only one mile away from the location at which we dropped the atomic bomb. She died of leukemia.
The popularization of Sadako’s story has turned it into a universal call for world peace, and the folding of paper cranes has become a physical realization of that call. A couple of weeks ago, I was introduced (via my friend Nate) to a Portland knitter and artist named Seann McKeel. Seann is inviting knitters to knit and felt one thousand cranes (ten per knitter), which she will display publicly late next year.
Would you like to participate? Is your stash waiting for a higher calling? Then download the pattern (along with information about deadlines and where to send your cranes) right here.