Origami Canopy

Origami created by Students of Holy Cross Lutheran School
and Members of the WSU Decorative Arts Guild

Hanging above the labyrinth are a thousand white cranes and a thousand multicolored animals made out of folded paper. This method of paper folding is called origami and was developed by the Japanese. The earliest written documentation of the art dates to Japanís Heian period (782 to 1185 CE) however scholars believe it may be older than its first written reference.

In Japanese tradition, the gift of an origami crane is a wish for healing. Sadako Sasaki, a twelve-year-old girl from Hiroshima, suffering from leukemia because of radiation exposure, attempted to fold one thousand cranes in order for her wish to get well to be granted. She was able to fold 644 cranes before her death. Classmates folded the remaining paper cranes, so that 1000 cranes were buried with Sadako. Her story has become an inspiration for children to fold cranes as a wish for worldwide peace. The gift of a thousand white cranes has become a global symbol of peace and healing since the bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. The Japanese people place thousands of origami cranes around Sadako's statue in Hiroshima Peace Park every year on Peace Day (August 6, the bombing anniversary). Engraved on the base of Sadako's statue are the words:

This is our cry
This is our prayer;
Peace in the world.

We offer the thousand white cranes as a prayer for peace between the world's religions and we offer the thousand multicolored animals as a prayer for healing and protection of the environment. The bowls at the entrance of the exhibit are filled with origami animals. You are welcome to take one as a reminder of your visit to Sacred Space.