Origami in the garden was the theme of the artwork at the Minneapolis Arboretum Garden. This was the most beautiful of the sculptures. Set in a pond, it was isolatable so can be admired with the hint of the garden that surrounds it.
Buddhist monks carried paper to Japan during the 6th century. Japanese origami dates from this period and was used for religious ceremonial purposes.
Origami butterflies were used during Shinto weddings to represent the bride and groom in the 1600's.
Our picture today shows cranes in flight. Cranes are the best known design. The crane is auspicious in Japanese culture. Legend says that anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes will have their heart's desire come true.
The thousand cranes is a poignant story of the 20th century. A young Japanese girl, Sadako Sasaki was exposed to radiation of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. By the time she was twelve in 1955, she was dying of leukemia. She decided to fold one thousand origami cranes so that she could live. She saw that other children in her ward were dying, and she realized that would not survive. She wished instead for world peace and an end to suffering. Her thousand cranes are said to have been completed after her death.
There is a statue of Sadako in the Hiroshima Peace Park: a girl standing with her hands outstretched, a paper crane flying from her fingertips. Every year the statue is adorned with thousands of wreaths of a thousand origami cranes.