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March 28, 2011 | by  | in News |
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A Thousand Paper Cranes

Japanese students at Victoria University have banded together to fundraise for their quake stricken counterparts back home with a touching and creative idea.

The students plan to fold thousands of origami cranes and string them together in groups of 1000. In Japan, these ‘thousand origami cranes’ are symbols of prosperity and happiness. Gifting them to others shows that you wish them a full and happy life.

Japanese student Aiko says that she and other students got the idea from the true story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Sadako was only young when she developed leukaemia as a result of the Hiroshima bombing. She spent her days in hospital folding cranes, hoping to fold 1000 so that she could wish upon the cranes to live, like in ancient Japanese folklore. Sadly, she only reached 644. Her family completed the remainder and buried them with her.

“We are doing this to raise awareness about the earthquake and to honour the memory of those lost.” Aiko said.

“We also want to honour the 23 Japanese students who died in the Christchurch earthquake. Most of the donations will go to Red Cross Japan but some will go to Christchurch.
“Paper cranes represent wish, hope, good luck and recovery.”

She also said that although many Japanese do not like nuclear energy because of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki incidents, the Fukushima power plant is essential because Japan has no resources for making its own power and doesn’t want to emit CO2 by importing coal.

The students will be outside the Library and Kirk around lunch on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next two weeks. They will also be holding an informal origami tutoring session and are setting up a Facebook page and website.

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