1000 cranes… “Keeper of the Sorrows”

Keeper of the Sorrows_Bronze_Holly Wilson
"Keeper of the Sorrows", Bronze, 31" x 29" x 17", by Holly Wilson

“Keeper of the Sorrows”, Bronze, 31″ x 29″ x 17″, by Holly Wilson

Working out where the sticks go and how many origami cranes I need. This is a piece I have been working on for about a year and then some. “Keeper of the Sorrows”.

It was inspired from a story of a young 12 year old Japanese girl, Sadako Sasaki, that was diagnosed with leukemia several years after radiation exposure from the atomic bomb that was dropped on August 6, 1945, near her home. She was trying to make 1000 cranes before her death. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures and is said to live for a thousand years, thus the 1000 cranes. The story tells that she managed to fold only 644 cranes before she became too weak to fold any more, after her passing her friends completed the cranes and buried them all with her. Now every year on Obon Day, which is a holiday in Japan to remember the departed spirits of one’s ancestors, thousands of people leave paper cranes near a statue of Sadako Sasaki. On the statue is a plaque: “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth.”

This story touch me in a way I just can not put words to.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Very beautiful. I love the story and the way you have chosen to visually honor the girl and the story. You are so gifted. emw

    • Thank you, the story has haunted me so that I felt I had to both honor Sadako Sasaki and others like her, as well as put my own feelings for hope for children, loss and remembrance out there.

  2. annette meserve says:

    I love this image and the way you’ve played with the space and reality of the wall. Your figures are wonderful! Perfect for storytelling!

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