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Object / Artefact › History
  • Other titles
    • 19 strings of origami peace cranes (descriptive name)
    • sembazuru (Japanese)
  • Description
    19 strings of origami peace cranes : 1000 cranes : made as a symbol of peace (sembazuru)
    twenty strands of various colours; each strand consisting of approximately 60 folded cranes; 18 strands are joined and 2 are loose
  • Place
  • Other Number
  • Accession number
  • Accession date
    1 April 1996
  • Collection area
  • Item count
  • Record richness


  • Credit
    Collection of Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, 1996.22.1
  • Notes
    19 strings of origami peace cranes : 1000 cranes : made as a symbol of peace (sembazuru)
    Left at the Museum in 1996 by an anonymous Japanese visitor

    sembazuru: a string of folded paper cranes, long considered auspicious as a symbol of longevity. Because of the belief that the diligence required to fold each one of a large number of paper cranes will be rewarded, a string of them is often offered at a shrine or temple along with a prayer. Sembazuru may also be given to a person suffering from illness as a prayer for their recovery and an expression of the giver's sympathy. [from Japanese Consilate book]

    Peace Cranes: the use of sembazuru as a peace symbol is associated with Sadako Sasaki born in 1943 who was two years old when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, and later fell ill with leukaemia, the 'atom bomb disease'. A friend told her of the belief that anyone who completed 1000 origami cranes would be granted a wish. Sadako, who wished for her own health and for the health of others affected by the radiation illness, started to work on the paper cranes and completed 644 before dying on October 25, 1955 at the age of twelve. Her friends and classmates finished making the cranes and raised money from school children all over Japan to build a statue to honour Sadako, and all the children affected by the bomb. The statue now stands in Hiroshima's Peace park and has a plaque stating: "This is our cry, this is our prayer, peace in the world." Sadako's story became an inspiration for the peace movement and the symbolism of the 1000 paper cranes is now known internationally.
  • Event
    Post WW2
  • Place
  • Subject category
  • Production
    unknown (maker)
    post-WW2, Wars
  • Consists of
  • Dimensions
    (l x w: 1000mm x 90mm)
  • Classification
    Chenhall Nomenclature (Nomenclature)
    › 08 Communication Artifacts (Category)
    › Art (Classification)
    › Sculpture (Primary Term)
    › Sculpture, Origami (Secondary Term)
  • Classification Documents
    Revised Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging (Primary Title)
    A Revised and Expanded Version of Robert G. Chenhall's System for Classifying Man-Made Objects. (Other Title)
    Robert Chenhall
    Nashville/Tennessee/USA  (Place of Publication)  (nomenclature)
  • Record created
    5 May 2008

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