What can be easier and at the same time difficult of folding a paper?
When I was a kid we were making paper ships and airplanes, my Spanish friends' childhood memory is La Pajarita bird, but making these is a very easy task compared to Japanese origami, yet the latter is much more fun.
Few weeks ago I’ve made my first origami crane out of curiosity. While searching for some videos I have discovered a story of Sadako Sasaki, a teenage girl who suffered from leukemia after Hiroshima bombing and who passed away at the age of 12 in 1955. Yet, this little girl had a hope to live: according to an ancient Japanese legend one who folds a flock of one thousand paper birds will be granted a wish by the gods. Sadako was more than halfway through with her 644 nestlings, but she was also short in paper and time. Most probably there would not be a miracle even if she was able to fulfill her task, yet this feat of a little yet mature girl does not leave anyone cold-blooded.
Folding a thousand cranes probably trains dedication and focus as well as patience: even if it looks simple, making a thousand of anything is a big challenge - a mechanical exercise training one’s mind and spirit. Plus, origami is turning to be a hot interior design item as last week I’ve seen some ridiculously priced origami decorations at Milan’s Rinascente trendy department store.
If you want to start if not a 1000 cranes of hope project but an attempt to build your own crane, this video is very slow step-by-step process explanation.
Some inspiration from Saatchi Online can help as I bet the authors thought about origami when making their artwork: Nina Nineska, Mauricio Mejia Molina, Joe Gitterman and Jaco Van Der Vaar... well, this guy seems to be a Darth Vader fan!
To learn more about Sadako, read a book by Eleanor Coerr written in 1977. Some similar stories are Anne Frank’s diaries and a recently published story of John Lahutsky (“The Boy From Baby House 10: How One Child Escaped the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage”).