1001 Origami Cranes for Bon Festival

Some of you may have noticed that there's been a summer hiatus from the blog.  Part of the reason was to enjoy time being present with my ohana (family) and another part was the time I spent folding origami paper cranes.

The simple reason behind starting Wailani's in 2013 was that I wanted to focus on health and happiness.  Using all natural and organic ingredients, combined with the aromas of Hawai'i, balanced out what I was doing in sharing Hawai'i with my children, preparing healthy meals for my family, focusing on exercise, etc.  The bigger emphasis for why I started the business in 2013 was that my 68-year-old father had recently moved to a nursing home.  Obesity, diabetes, cancer, strokes, and finally dementia had all taken their toll and I really felt a need to focus on my family's health and teach my children to value being happy and healthy daily.

At the beginning of 2014, my dad died, something which you are never quite prepared for, even if you tell yourself that you expect the inevitable.  When I found out that the Bon Festival, a Japanese tradition celebrated in Hawai'i to honor the spirit of a person's ancestor, was August 13-15- coinciding with my parents' anniversary, I knew I needed to fold the 1000 origami cranes to honor him.

For those that don't know the popularity of the origami cranes, also known as senbazuru, there is a wonderful book about Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl that died from her exposure to the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.  She was trying to fold the 1000 cranes because she was inspired by the legend that the person who folds these cranes is granted a wish.  She died before completing the cranes and her classmates completed the rest in her honor. 

In modern times, the cranes are made for many occasions, such as weddings, funerals, birth of a new baby, praying for peace, etc.  I remember helping to fold cranes in grade school to send off to the Hiroshima Peace Park.  Each year, people place cranes there during the Bon Festival in memory of their ancestors.

Thanks to a friend of mine and my husband that helped to fold the cranes, I was able to complete the 1001 cranes...yes my friend said that the extra one is for luck...and give them as a gift to my mom for her anniversary, during the Bon Festival. 

I am happy I got to honor his memory and teach my children more about the traditions I grew up with in Hawai'i, though my son is only at the stage of being able to fold a paper airplane :)  Thanks for supporting me through this adventure of Wailani's and reading about my summer journey with cranes and commemoration.

~Have fun and live healthy!