Cherry Blossoms and Paper Cranes Tattoo

This was my last piece that I had done before leaving Japan. It took about 3.5 hours and hurt something fierce. I actually cried through most of it. My artist, while talented, was very heavy handed and very slow.

This piece was something that was a dream of mine for a long time. When I was a child, living in Japan was my dream. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes was my favorite story, my inspiration, and my hope. I had the honour of visiting Hiroshima and seeing the children’s memorial and Sadako’s statue before I left Japan.

Sadako was a young girl when Hiroshima was bombed. She was dying of radiation poisoning, and it was believed that if you could fold one thousand origami cranes, your wish would be granted. She did not mange to fold one thousand…and after she died, the children in her class and neighborhood finished for her. And people now travel to this memorial in Hiroshima and leave origami cranes behind, with all of their hopes, dreams, and wishes put into them.

The cherry blossoms represent Japan, the beauty, the quiet sadness in the beauty and how fleeting it is…they are so beautiful, but they bloom for such a very short period of time…then, while the trees don’t become barren, the beauty changes. The trees are still lovely, the leaves are a vibrant shade of green. But it is very different.

The cranes represent wishes and dreams…and the two, combined, they are a reminder that beauty is fleeting, but your dreams, they are forever.

Of all of my work, this piece means the most to me. It breaks my heart and fills my soul each time I look at it. It is the constant reminder that life is short and you have to make it amazing.




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