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Hundreds fold paper cranes in support of 'forgotten' Japan

2011/06/18 17:37:10

Taipei, June 18 (CNA) Hundreds of people gathered at a charity event in Taipei Saturday to fold symbolic origami cranes and show Taiwan's continuing support for tsunami-devastated Japan.

An enthusiastic crowd packed into Taipei's bustling Ximenting districtfor the nine-hour campaign that aimed to fold three sets of 1,000 origami cranes, known in Japanese as senbazuru, and string them together in the belief that the holy creatures will send their good wishes to people in Japan.

Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted a wish, said event organizer Cooky Ueda, a Japanese expatriate in Taiwan.

"Through hands-on activities like this, the public can sit down and reflect on the tragedy that occurred Japan," he said.

After completing each origami, participants wrote a wish such as "Let's go," "Good luck," and "We are with you" on the wings of the cranes.

Though she has yet to learn to write, 5-year-old Cherry Huang said she was confident her good wishes would be appreciated by the Japanese.

"I made a green crane because green is my lucky color," she said after patiently spending half an hour folding a crane.

The cranes, along with donations received at the event, will be sent to 1,300 shelters and schools in northeastern Japan, the region devastated by a magnitude 9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami in March.

The event also featured live concerts by international musicians in Taiwan to convey borderless love through music.

"We want to make a little bit of noise to catch people's attention," said Douglas Rapier, president of the Blues Society on Taiwan. "Especially at the time when most of the world has forgotten the tragedy in Japan."

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)