Luck, Healing and Wishes Come True Carried by Origami Cranes

One thousand origami cranes, according to Japanese legend, are a symbol of good luck, healing and wishes come true.

Hopes of luck, healing and wishes come true were carried on the wings of origami cranes that were handed out to all who donated to the collection for Japanese disaster relief at a fundraiser dinner I attended last week.  What a fitting gift of gratitude – the delicate, perfectly formed origami crane – rich with symbolism.  Here are photos of the one I received.

Origami crane frontOrigami Crane Side

A group of one thousand origami cranes, according to Japanese legend, is a symbol of good luck, healing and wishes come true.  It is said that someone who folds 1000 origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane.  Cranes are considered to be mystical creatures that live 1000 years.

The name for a group of one thousand origami cranes held together with string is “Senbazuru.” This is a traditional Japanese wedding gift symbolizing a wish for 1000 years of happiness and prosperity.  Some people hang a Senbazuru in their home for good luck.

My daughter learned how to fold origami cranes in elementary school when they read a children’s book entitled Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. As the story goes, a young Japanese girl named Sadako developed leukemia resulting from radiation exposure following the bombing in World War II.  She hoped that by making 1000 origami cranes she would live longer.  Only able to complete 644 before passing away, her friends completed the remaining 356 and buried all 1000 cranes with her. Today, school children often bring Senbazuru to temples and war memorials in Tokyo and Hiroshima as a symbol of a wish for world peace. Inspired by this tale, my daughter undertook a project to make 1000 origami cranes and send them to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.  Here’s a photo of her after completing the huge task.

1000 Origami Cranes

Deeply touched by the reports of suffering and devastation caused by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, many PCHers want to help. So our company has responded with a way to increase the value of our donations by matching employees’ charitable donations to The American Red Cross, UNICEF or the Salvation Army for the purpose of helping victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The total of PCH employee contributions received by 5:00 pm today, March 25, 2011, up to $5,000.00, will be matched by Publishers Clearing House.

Just like a thousand origami cranes, we here at PCH want to do our part to help bring hope for good luck, healing and wishes come true in this country that has been hit so hard with disaster.

We’d be interested in hearing from our PCH Blog readers about any Japanese disaster relief efforts you may be involved in.  If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to help, too, by making a donation to a charity of your own choice that is helping the country.

Deborah Holland PCH


Deborah Holland
Executive Vice President
PCH Publishers Clearing House

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  1. Hello debra . This is ricky moser from wichita falls tx. I’m a widowed. Man on disability. And I will make a pact if I win .I will help. The disaster relief program .by making a huge donation. I’ll pray for those people. Everyday . God is amaxing on fixing things and bringing people together. Even in disaters. He wants us all to call on him. Sometimes he gives us a little spanking to get our attentions. I pray everyday and I even pray for the prize patrol elite team for saftey. Because there on the road alot. Debra I don’t even have running water. I guess you could say .I know what it’s like to live like a poor man . My house is ran down the wood is rottning. But I praise God because he made me and saved through his son jesus. So I can be happy in side peaceful and joyful . And have everlasting life with him in heaven.

  2. Decided to post a littele message about a contrebution thet S.O.S.Was able to do.soooo,we recerved a reguest thet enablet us to be able to assist by dressing a family that tlaw in from Japan.I olug away at PCH sweepsyakas becaus I have so many wanderful things that want to do make the world abetter place.God bless all who make an effort to share the blessings that come their way! It always com bak!

  3. hi deborah it makes me so sad to hear about people having such a bad time and losig so many lives,i think they will all see heaven,i don’t know just how they feel, but my son quite breathing when he was 6 months old we were very lucky we rushed him to riley hosp.that is what is wrong with him now he is handicapped but i pray every day that he will i feel so blessed to still have him.god bless ruby archer

  4. Decided to post a little message about a contribution that S.O.S. (Serving Our Savior) was able to do. Two years ago my husband and I started a Clothing Ministry, simply because the thing just fell into his lap by being at the right place at the right time. We do it under the umbrella of the women’s ministry from our church. Soooo, we were very excited when we received a request that enabled us to be able to assist by dressing a family that flew in from Japan. The military husband is in deployment there so he was not able to leave but the wife and children flew in to stay with relatives. They got away with a small suitcase, a bag of diapers and some formula. Lost everything they owned. The mother is 29 and has 3 children – a 6 month old baby girl, a 4 year old boy and an 8 year old daughter. We counted it a privilege and a joy to be able to clothe them with brand new items and blankets. This was just a small thing in the big scope of what has and is happening but to me it is always more blessed to give than to receive.
    I plug away at PCH sweepstakes because I have so many wonderful things that I want to do to make the world a better place.
    Well, that is my little story. God bless all who make an effort to share the blessings that come their way! It always come back!

  5. P.S., and Deborah, what a caring child you are raising. Our children learn from us, so this tells me that you too care very much and will do what you can to assist. EXCELLLENT Parenting skills !!

    Vickie P
    Markle, IN

  6. What a very meaningful way for PCH to show, once again, that they care about people.

    I have made donations to the, the American Red Cross, and the Save the Children Foundation. While preparing to have to move, I am sorting through Good Clothing and household items, as I pack, to donate to the Salvation Army and Good Will.

    I also recommend making blood donations to the Red Cross. I want to make a donation, as I have the blood they seek the most,this being -O negative, however my own health prevents me from making a donation. AS Soon as I recover from this upcoming surgery, I will go straight to the Red Cross and Donate.

    Many people cannot afford to donate money, but that’s OK; just PLEASE donate blood, clothing, household items that you do not use, or work as a volunteer at any number of collection spots. Go to the RED CROSS and help to sort and package items to be sent to Japan and the many other countries which are in great need right now; including some of our own families in the U.S.A.

    This is the time for World Peace and Harmony, as we reach out to others to help in every way that we can.

    Vickie P

  7. omg sry btw Mrs. Deborah! HELLO & tks a bunch for posting about Japan!! I’m soo very sad & even more so b/c wish there was more preparation for natural disasters!? & more awareness of how some things r preventable?..such as those levys/ Katrina biz. hmm.

    Deborah, I love that colorful pic of your daughter & your blog post too! please tell your daughter congratulations on her completion for me & I can’t believe my eyes:D
    ( sorry won’t make u a messenger again!!)

    ::pretends to hang cranes::