A Dream of Cranes
On March 12, one day after the devastating earthquake, I had a dream-—a dream of thousands of different coloured origami cranes floating and gently falling through the air.
This dream image became the emotional grand finale of “Ganbare Japan!”
We put out a call for people to start folding cranes. Notices were hung in schools. Emails were sent to groups. Information was posted on the BC JERF website. Daiso donated origami paper. And the folding began.
They were folded by many people, young and old, all over the Lower Mainland for over one month.
Two days and three nights before the concert, young people gathered (some from the Sendai area) in my living room to open the wings of each and every crane, boxing them carefully for transport to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Many of the helpers were from the singing group JaVan Gospel Choir who also sang in the lobby at “Ganbare Japan!” Everyone sat tirelessly for hours, singing Japanese songs, telling stories, and opening the over 14,600 paper wings.
At the theatre, after test rehearsals to see how the cranes would fall from the ceiling above the stage and the audience, a very intricate system was put into place for the cranes’ part in the finale. We had the help of the stage crew, the Vancouver Opera, and Issac the balloon expert who designs the gigantic balloon archways for the Vancouver Sun Run to make this magic happen. Each crane was counted and represented the lives that have been confirmed lost to the earthquake/tsunami in Tohoku.
And as they floated down on the audience and performers, the people of Tohoku joined us to create hope for the recovery to come.