On a Sunday in 1956, my parents took me to KyuKyodo, a Japanese handcrafted paper store over 350 years old. It was like heaven. “Choose anything you like,” my father said, proud of his shy five-year-old’s report card in a school full of diplomats’ children and other expats. After hours of browsing, and nudged by my father, I finally chose a tiny package of 100 three inch square Washi origami papers hand printed with centuries-old patterns.
I stored those precious 100 sheets, too beautiful to use, for over half a century, packing them among my most precious possessions, and carrying them with me from Tokyo to Hong Kong to Paris to Monte Carlo to Boston.
Three years ago, I came upon them amidst my treasures. And it was the right time. The centuries old patterns felt surprisingly graphic and new. Finally, I folded them into 100 cranes like those of Sadako, glazed each one mounted and framed them at my frame shop. That first piece was an homage to my parents and the love they had for me.