the crane – tsuru – is an auspicious symbol, representing longevity and fidelity. in folklore these birds are reputed to live a thousand years and in the wild they mate for life. these associations lead it to become a frequent motif on wedding gifts and textiles. many japanese symbols have an associated season, the crane is a bird of winter.
in origami the folding of 1,000 paper cranes is said to grant the maker a special wish. a thousand cranes have also become a symbol of the struggle for world peace, in remembrance of sadako sasaki who survived the hiroshima bomb.