Cranes Over Hiroshima

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This song describes the life journey of a young girl born in Japan during WWII. When she is diagnosed with Leukemia, she and her friends and family fold 1,000 paper cranes in hopes that her wish for restored health will be granted by the legendary sacred crane.


In Japanese tradition the crane (as well as the dragon and tortoise) is a sacred, mystical creature. As the dragon is believed to live 1,000 years, an ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes (one for each year of the dragon’s life) will be granted a wish by a crane. One version of this legend says that the person who has the cranes will be granted eternal good luck, while another version says that the bearer will be granted just one wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. This makes them popular gifts for special friends and family, as well as enduring projects for those who are gravely ill. Many believe that the 1,000 cranes must be completed within one year and must all be made and kept by the person who is to make the wish at the end. Giving a paper crane is symbolic of a wish for good health, luck or fortune.