Folded Cranes in Cardboard

“Origami was invented in China around 100AD. The word origami simply means “paper folding”. Japan was in the habit of adopting interesting parts of the Chinese culture, and took on the craft of origami around 600AD. It is Japanese origami which has become a world famous cultural emblem.”As in many societies, paper was a luxury item, created by hand and used only for important, long lasting purposes. When origami was first brought to Japan, only the rich practiced the art of folding paper into shapes. The shape creation was a way of adding special meaning to what the paper held on it or in it.

“For love notes, origami was doubly special. First, the origami shape itself could represent a message. The selection of color and shape help conveyed the true emotions of the writer. Second, origami is an intricate art. If the love note was intercepted, it would be unlikely that the reader could perfectly refold the shape. So the origami love note was very secure – it could not be read by the wrong person without the recipient knowing it.

“For thousands of years the Japanese culture has treasured the crane as a symbol of honor and loyalty. The crane is a majestic bird which mates for life and is extremely loyal to its partner. The bird is strong, graceful and beautiful. Because of the great importance of the crane, the Japanese people feel that a person who folds 1,000 cranes will be granted his or her greatest wish.”

The first images are from The Pagoda Chinese restaurant on NE Broadway and39th. The Pagoda was a fixture in the Hollywood District of Portland for more than 70 years. It closed its doors December 31st, 2008. I chose this spot for several reason…first, the orange and red tiles provide a lovely backdrop to the white cranes. Second, I was saddened that a place with such a long tradition would succumb to tagging and general disrespect. Where is the loyalty and honor in that?

These next shots were taken at the corner of NE Oregon and NE &th. The statue is by Muriel Castanis and is titled Ideals. Seemed appropriate for birds who represent honor and loyalty. I think they look a bit like pigeons…

These frames were taken down by the water front…SE Esplanade, right near the Hawthorne Bridge.
The landscape and the River seemed fitting.
Taken at the Fred Meyer parking lot between Sandy Blvd. and NE Broadway. Selling out…

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