School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences

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One Thousand Cranes for Ishinomaki, Japan

"Thank you so much for supporting
the Thousand Cranes Project" - Project Completed

Crane handover

Thank you so much for your kind support for our Thousand Cranes Project to assist the victims by the earth quake and tsunami in Japan. Through the JustGiving thousandcranes website, 1,235 has been raised for the Japan Tsunami Appeal of British Red Cross and 1,260 paper cranes were collected from Britain and Italy (Listed below). The cranes were hung with thread, shipped to Japan and arrived at Kobunkan High School in Ishinomaki on 19th July. The head master, Chihoko Onodera was very pleased to have our thousand cranes.

On 11th March, the tsunami reached the ground floor of the high school. The students, school staff and local residents evacuated to the higher levels of school and were isolated over several days without electricity. The school re-started from the end of April. However, it is a still long way to recover the damaged area, as the pictures below show (taken by Sayuri Fujimura in late July). Although the local government has been building temporary houses, 1,399 citizens still live in temporary shelters including Kobunkan High School as of 12 Sep 2011. Due to land sinking some people may have to re-locate for safety reasons.

Sign of Ganbaroh Ishinomaki Burned Primary School Ginkgo leaves damaged by sea water

I am impressed so many people have shown their sympathy toward the disaster victims and got involved with the Thousand Crane Project. Although it was a hard time for me, I have been helped by your compassion. When I became discouraged, each message on the JustGiving site and on the wings of cranes has kept me going. I deeply appreciate your warmest support.

Toshie Mizunuma, 30 Sep 2011

"Cranes Arrived at Kobunkan High School in Ishinomaki"

On 19th July, my high-school friends, Sayuri, Emiko and Yoko went to Kobunkan High School in Ishinomaki and our thousand cranes were handed in the principal of the high school. I will tell you more as soon as I get the detail.

Foreign Office Minister Visited Ishinomaki

I learnt Jeremy Browne MP, Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, visited Ishinomaki in July. You could read the news at the website of British Embassy Tokyo, 'Tohoku: 4 months on, FCO visits Ishinomaki' with his video message.

Toshie Mizunuma, 28 July 2011

"Cranes are Now in Tokyo"

Thanks to Graham Walker's help with the shipping, the cranes was sent to Japan on Friday and arrived at my friend Sayuri's house in Tokyo on Monday. She was delightly surprised the bunch of our cranes was big and gorgeous. Next week, she will bring the cranes to Ishinomaki.

Toshie Mizunuma, 12 July 2011

"Cranes Ready to Ship"

Thanks to your great contributions, 1,260 cranes were collected. Added the messages from the people who donated at the JustGiving site, the cranes have been hanged with string and are now ready to ship. I decorated the cranes at the entrance of Crew Building. If you come to the Crew, please have a look at the beautiful folding cranes.

Cranes in Crew Building Colleagues at Crew Building (1) Colleagues at Crew Building (2)

The cranes will be sent through my friend in Tokyo to my high school (Kobunkan High School former Ishinomaki Girls High School), which is partially used as a temporary shelter. The school is a prefectural high school in Ishinomaki. Tsunami flooded the ground floor of the building and they lost some sporting equipments, etc. The school webpage says a counselor from Kobe who experienced the Great Hanshin Earthquake 1995 has been working for a while. I hope the cranes cheer the students up as well as the people living there. You could see the school here (sorry only in Japanese).

Toshie Mizunuma, 7 July 2011

"ONE THOUSAND Cranes Now Collected"

Thank you so much for your support for our Thousand Cranes Project to assist the victims by the earth quake and tsunami in Japan. Today, I am pleased to announce that the number of cranes has reached the target, ONE THOUSAND. Since we started the project in late March, 1,235 has been raised for the Japan Tsunami Appeal of British Red Cross through the JustGiving thousandcranes website. Many colleagues, their friends and families, participants in several meetings contributed to making cranes and writing messages for the Tsunami victims. Students of Solent Junior School, Hampshiresent 137 cranes with their sweet messages. Moreover, 178 cranes with Italian messages arrived from school students in istituto comprensivo M carlucci Ruoti, Potenza as well as the collection. The list of contributors and number of cranes is attached below. We are so delighted that many people have shown their sympathy toward the disaster victims and got involved with the crane project. Please accept our warmest thanks for your contribution.

On 31st May, the National Police Agency reported 15,281 people were confirmed dead and 8,492 were listed as missing. Although nealy three months have passed since the disaster, 6,895 people are still living in 96 temporary shelters in Ishinomaki. It is very difficult to build houses in the areas damaged by the tsunami and temporary houses are still under construction. We will put messages from the people who donated at the JustGiving site on the blank cranes, hang the thousand cranes with thread and send them to one of the shelters. If you still have cranes, please send them to me as soon as possible. Once the thousand cranes arrived at Ishinomaki, it will be reported on this website.

Once again, let me say thank you to all for your kind support.

Toshie Mizunuma, 3 June 2011 (updated 11 June 2011)

List of Contributions

Donation for Japan Tsunami Appeal British Red Cross (JustGiving One Thousand Cranes for Japan)

    Total: 47 donations, 1,360.00 as of June 18
    Tim, Joanna Cloy, Emal Rumi, Gary McClean, Stefano Parmeggiani, Vittoria Coletta, Iain McNicol, Tom Cowton, Anitra Fraser, Silvia Caldararu, Rossella, Gail Jackson, neil burnside, john grace, Rachel Cohen, B Hill, Martin Hill, Tiziana Gentilesca, Amy & Steve, Emily Woollen, Kirsten Hunter, Cristina chinchilla, Lucy Rowland, Andy, Edward Barratt, Steve & Dorothy Brider, Andrew and Pam Rowland, Rosie Jones, Tom, liang FENG, Nancy Burns, Patrick, Joana Zaragoza-Castells, Carly Leighton, James Howie, Jenny Wright, Gladys Morton, Monica Barry, Roger Sidaway, Lesley Wright, Richard Pilgrim, Aisling Layden, Michael Dore, Andre Galli, Ruth Doherty, ISTITUTO COMPRENSIVO, Gail and Robbie, and four anonymous contributors.

Contribution for paper cranes

    Total: 1,260 cranes (with message=594, blank=666) as of July 7
  • Tim and Lucy 49 cranes (with message=7, blank=42)
  • The Rowland 71 cranes (with message=6, blank=65)
  • Alice, Anthony, Monica, Leon, Alegria and their families 61 cranes (with message=4, blank=57)
  • Friends from England, Scotland, Japan, Italy, Germany and Portugal 29 cranes (with message=22, blank=7)
  • Posted from students in Solent Junior School, Hampshire 139 cranes (with message=30, blank=109)
  • Posted from Tiziana, Vittoria, Tiziana's niese and nephew and students in istituto comprensivo M carlucci Ruoti, Potenza 178 (with message= 178, blank=0)
  • Posted from Consulate General of Japan, Edinburgh 8 (with message= 5 , blank= 3 )
  • Posted from Richard Pilgrim, Carly, Kirsten, Philip Lewis and his family 7 cranes (with message=7, blank=0)
  • Participants at BES Symposium, 28-30 March Cambridge (*1), and Lisa Wingate and her family and colleges in University of Cambridge 90 cranes (with message=53, blank=37)
  • Participants at EARSeL 7th, 11-13 April, Edinburgh (*2) 43 cranes (with message=43, blank=0)
  • Participants at Science Festival, 18-19 April, Edinburgh (*3) 13 cranes (with message=13, blank=0)
  • Participants at Forests and the Environment, 18-19 April, Bologna (*4) 48 cranes (with message=48, blank=0)
  • Participants at IWGGMS-7, 16-18 May, Edinburgh (*5) 29 cranes (with message=20, blank=9)
  • Colleagues and their friends and families in School of GeoSciences, Crew Building 382 cranes (with message=127, blank=327)
  • Colleagues in School of GeoSciences, Grant Institute 14 cranes (with message=5, blank=9)
  • Colleagues in School of GeoSciences, Geography 11 cranes (with message=10, blank=1)
  • Colleagues in School of Law and School of Engineering, Carbon capture 14 cranes (with message=14, blank=0)

Project team

    Cristina Chinchilla soto, Rossella Guerrieri, Tiziana Gentilesca, Aisling Layden, Theresa Meacham, Toshie Mizunuma, Lucy Rowland, Emal Rumi
    The project logo was made by Theresa Meacham's elder sister and her mother encouraged the students in Hampshire to make paper cranes. Luciana Mantovani and Tiziana Gentilesca helped the translation of the flier to Italian. Tiziana's nephew and niece asked their friends to support the project. Grazie Mille!

"Please help us make 1000 cranes (Senbazuru) and raise money for Japan Tsunami Appeal"


JustGiving One Thousand Cranes for Japan

As you are all aware Japan recently suffered one of the most violent and destructive earthquakes in history. The impact of the earthquake and the tsunami it caused has devastated many towns and cities across Japan.

My name is Toshie Mizunuma, I am a PhD student at University of Edinburgh.  My hometown is Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture in Japan. The city is home to some 162,800 people and has been destroyed by the earthquake (See the damages in Ishinomaki at DailyMail online news on 17th March 2011). Thankfully my mother and the rest of my family survived the disaster, but many are not so lucky. As of the 9th of April, 15,952 of people are living in temporary shelters and no longer have homes to return to.

I would like to collect 1000 paper cranes or senbazuru for the homeless people in Ishinomaki. Collecting and giving 1000 handmade paper cranes is a Japanese tradition which is said to bring luck and recovery from injury and illness to the recipients of the cranes.  I will send the cranes to my brother, who is currently working at some of the temporary shelters. He will distribute these cranes to people living in the shelters, and hopefully spread hope to those staying there.

Traditionally origami cranes are made on standard size origami paper, but any square coloured or patterned of paper ~21 x 21 cm will be perfect except black and white papers. I would be very grateful if you could make a  crane by folding it up using the instructions in the link step by step origami crane or origami-cranes and then write a message on the underside of the wings for the people of Ishinomaki. I am aiming to string together 1000 of these cranes to send over to my brother so please encourage as many people as you can to make one of these.

Please send any cranes you make to me by Tuesday 31 May 2011:

Ms Toshie Mizunuma
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
Crew Building, The King's Buildings
West Mains Road
Edinburgh EH9 3JN
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 7727

Alternatively just make a donation and leave a message on our JustGiving Thousandcranes site ( which you would like to be put on your crane and we will make it for you. The donation via this website will go to the British Red Cross and the British Red Cross forward all the money we send them into their Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Many thanks in advance for any help you can give,


Thousandscranes Flier (Download Flier)

Senbazuru Volantino Italiano (Scarichi Volantino)