Paper Cranes for Japan Fly Home

Posted on
Thu, 01/12/2012

Gift by Gift for A Better World

Crane SculptureOn January 13, 2012, the magnificent Paper Crane Sculpture premiered. Composed of 100,000 of your paper cranes and designed by students at Tohoku University of Art & Design, the sculpture is the centerpiece of a Gift by Gift for a Better World - 3-day public workshop at Sendai Train Station in Sendai, Japan. After the installation was presented in an opening ceremony, young people and their families gathered to make gift boxes filled with paper cranes. These gift boxes will be given to children throughout Japan as a symbolic gift of hope and optimism! 

Building the Paper Crane Sculpture 

To see how students at Tohoku University of Art & Design constructed the Paper Crane Sculpture from your cranes, be sure to check out the gallery embedded above. Want to learn more about how Students Rebuild and Architecture for Humanity rebuild communities in the Tohoku region of Japan? You can learn more about the youth-focused efforts of the Tohoku Rebuilding Center here.

About Paper Cranes for Japan

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake struck the Tohoku region of Japan, resulting in a devastating tsunami that ravaged countless villages and towns. In response, Students Rebuild partnered with to ensure students worldwide have a way to support their Japanese peers.

The challenge was to make and mail in an origami crane by April 15, 2011, and each crane received was matched with $2 to rebuild in Japan by the Bezos Family Foundation. The goal was 100,000 cranes to represent wishes of support and healing, which would trigger $200,000 from the foundation to fund Architecture for Humanity's Tohoku reconstruction efforts in partnership with Japanese designers and builders. According to legend, anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes, which are sacred creatures in Japanese culture, will be granted a wish by a crane.

Elie Dubois DedicationAt the dedication ceremony for their new school, supported by Students Rebuild: Haiti participants, École Elie Dubois students fold paper cranes for Japan.

The response to our call to action? An amazing 2,000,000 cranes from 38 countries! From Armenia to New Zealand, from rural Kansas to urban Philadelphia, from elementary school classrooms to church basements and community cherry blossom festivals, young people came together to fold paper cranes – and mailed them by the boxful. Students in Haiti folded hundreds of cranes for Japan during the groundbreaking of a newly reconstructed Students Rebuild school in Port au Prince. Six weeks after the disaster, we counted an incredible 1 million cranes – exceeding our wildest hopes.

When the crane count exceeded the half-million mark, the Bezos Family Foundation decided to double its gift to $400,000 to reflect and further support the outpouring of generosity from young people across the world. Shortly after, an anonymous donor came forward to add $100,000 – making $500,000 for Japan! All proceeds from Paper Cranes for Japan support Architecture for Humanity's Tohoku Rebuilding Program

Ready to take action? While registration for Paper Cranes for Japan has ended, you can carry forward the spirit of hope and healing embodied in every Students Rebuild challenge by taking a stand against humanitarian crises. Tap your creativity by making a handmade bone – out of any material you choose – which will  raise awareness and critical funds for CARE International’s relief work in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Join the One Million Bones project today!