On April 14, the Kaiser Student Body Leadership (SB Leadership) completed the Origami Crane Mobile. This project marked Kaiser students’ and faculty members’ resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. After about four months of planning, folding, and collecting, the library stair spindles – the vertical shafts that hold up the handrails – are now adorned with 1,000 blue and gold cranes.
The idea was first proposed near the end of Quarter 2 as an “origami thing.” Hawaii State Student Council Representative Brennan Tamashiro then fine-tuned it into an origami crane project. “This project was significant due to cranes being a symbol of fortune, good luck, and longevity,” said Student Body Vice President Richard Yang, who made the original suggestion. “Due to the circumstances we’re currently facing, this would show our school’s perseverance as well as symbolizing the wishes and hopes of our students that go out to the victims of the pandemic.” By the end of the year, SB Leadership had planned it out: deciding where the cranes should be placed, determining the timeline of the project, and contacting suppliers.
As Quarter 3 began, SB Leadership started to put the plan into effect. Teachers, students, and clubs also joined in. “There were many people involved in this project, from our Student Body Leadership class to the teachers and the rest of the student body,” Student Body Treasurer Aina Hayakawa said. “Our leadership class planned and hung the cranes, but we had faculty members, clubs, and students fold [them].” Folding all 1,000 cranes alone took about a month to complete.
After all of the cranes had been folded and collected, stringing was the last step to completing the project. “We had to figure out how long each strand would be [and] how many cranes each one would hold,” Hayakawa said. Then came the execution, which required great precision. First, every three-inch long crane had to be punctured. Then, cranes and paper straws were strung in an alternating pattern. Lastly, the strings were tied with a triple knot onto each stair spindle and secured with masking tape.
The mobile holds additional meaning for Hayakawa and Tamashiro. “I personally think the blue holds the meaning of the ocean, clear sky, and serenity, which can all be found on our island,” Hayakawa said. “The color gold reminds me of courage, passion, and wisdom; all three characteristics are demonstrated by Kaiser’s Student Body.” Besides the blue and gold, Tamashiro believes the cranes “symbolize our school’s diversity [because] most of the cranes are different from each other,” he said.
“[It] was worth all the effort,” Tamashiro said. “It also gave our class a chance to get to know each other better, as well as bring us together as people.” Similarly, Hayakawa feels that through the project, “ the school as a whole was able to come together despite not being able to see each other,” she said.
When you walk into the library and see the 1,000 cranes, remember that with ongoing perseverance and strong spirit, good fortune and a brighter future is yet to come.