FREEPORT — A thousand paper origami cranes are part of a special display this month at the Freeport Library. Called “Senbazuru” which literally means 1,000 cranes, this refers not to the wild birds, but to their delicate replication in paper — origami.
There are two remaining origami craft programs during the month, including “Dollar Bill Origami” from 4 to 5 p.m. Nov. 14 and “Advanced Origami” from 4 to 5 p.m. Nov. 19.
The challenge of completing a lei of 1,000 folded paper cranes on a string is a great one, but is said to be rewarded with a wish. In particular, folding a thousand paper cranes on behalf of a sick person indicates the maker’s concern for that individual. It is traditionally presented to the sick person so they may hang them in their room, or given as a wedding gift by a father to his daughter, wishing the newlywed couple a thousand years of happiness.
Folding a thousand origami cranes was widely popularized in the poignant story of Sasaki Sadako. Told in various forms, this tale relates how 2-year-old Sadako-san was exposed to dangerous levels of radiation during the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. She survived initially but contracted leukemia a few years later. She was inspired by the legend of the senbazuru and began folding cranes, presumably in the hope of being granted the wish of health on completion of 1,000. Sadako-san, sadly, did not succeed in her wish, but still inspires many each year to fold colorful paper cranes and donate them in leis at shrines across Japan, most frequently at the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima.
The public is encouraged to stop by the library, 410 Brazosport Blvd., to view the thousand paper cranes on display during the month of November. All programs are free and open to the public.
For information, call 979-233-3622.