Story of the stork that became 600 cranes

Everybody could have noticed that in the last days at the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre something unique and beautiful was happening.


50 japanese teachers and professors in every corner of the Centre, were accurately folding colored paper sheets. Together with them, with less knowledge but same effort, teachers, atelieristas and pedagogistas of Reggio Emilia were trying to do the same.


In three days this collaboration brought to the realization of 600 small origami cranes, special guests of the 17 November event when they were given as a gift of peace and joy to the children of the preschools and infant toddler centres of Reggio.


Coming from Japan to Reggio to study the Reggio Emilia Approach, the guests have brought here their knowledge, creating that special connection that starts when you exchange ideas.


Suddenly everybody at the International Centre started to learn the origami art and the meaning of the crane in Japan: it is a symbol of long life, health and happiness; and after the second world war became a symbol of peace.


You could think this idea comes from far away…but actually it was born in a closet of the Rodari Laboratory at the International Centre Malaguzzi. Here for many years,  was sleeping a stork, historical puppet built by Mariano Dolci, famous puppet master. At the beginning, the idea for the event was to make a stork, but it was an overrated symbol. Life is always full of encounters and so the stork met Ayaka, a young atelierista that chose Reggio for an international internship , who comes from Hokkaido Island where there are a lot of cranes and few storks. Ayaka and the stork look at each other. The decision is taken:  Ayaka transforms the stork into a creane with few but important changes. Then 32 other big copies were realized and would be brought by every school as a symbol to Prampolini square for the event dedicated to the popular motion “Educationaln services 0-6: foundation of the right of citizenship”.

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