A1180001 - Large Wedding CranesStamps may now be ordered pre-cut and adhered to Static Cling Mounting Foam®.
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|Large Wedding Cranes|
Actual size: 3 in x 3 in*
(Postage added to order handling fee $0.30)As a symbolism of fidelity and long life, cranes are a popular motif for weddings in Japan.
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The crane is the most popular bird in Chinese history and is a symbol of longevity and auspiciousness. In ancient China the crane was regarded as having a long life span and one Chinese legend says that a immortal rode a crane to heaven.
The crane also represents a lasting soaring spirit, health, and happiness. In ancient China crane images were embroidered on robes of first-rank officials so the crane was held in high esteem and known as a first-rank bird. Cranes are usually painted with other symbols of longevity such as pine trees and peaches. Cranes with peony flowers symbolize longevity and prosperity. Cranes and lotus symbolize longevity and purity.
The Japanese crane was once widespread over much of Japan and mainland Asia. In feudal Japan the crane was protected by the ruling classes and fed by the peasants. When the feudal system was abolished in the late 19th century, the protection of cranes was also lost and by 1920 they had dwindled to a population of less than 20 birds. Only one colony had survived in a remote part of Hokkaido. After receiving protection from the Government they began to recover but suffered many losses during World War II and the subsequent occupation. The Government supported feeding of cranes in 1952 to bring the birds back from the brink of extinction.
In Japan the crane was known as 'the bird of happiness' and was often referred to as 'Honorable Lord Crane'. In China the crane was the 'Patriarch of the feathered tribe'. The Chinese saw the crane's white standing for purity, the red head for vitality (and also connected with fire).
The birds were associated with fidelity (faithfulness and devotion to one's partner) because they paired for life.
They were also symbols of longevity and in both China and Japan were often drawn with pine trees, tortoises, stones and bamboo - all symbols of long life. Both cultures also associated cranes with good fortune and prosperity so they are often painted with the sun - a symbol of social ambition.
The powerful wings of the crane were said to be able to convey souls to the Western Paradise and to take people to higher levels of spiritual consciousness. The Chinese also saw valuable lessons in the flight of cranes in which the young must follow and learn from their older and wiser leaders.
Japanese creation myths talk of a legendary warrior who conquered his foes to extend the borders of ancient Japan. On his death, his soul took the form of a crane and flew away.
Another legend records that at Kakamura in the 11th century a feudal leader celebrated a Buddhist festival in which birds and animals are set free, by releasing hundreds of cranes as thanksgiving after a successful battle. Each had a prayer strip on its leg to pray for those killed in battle. This appears to be the first recorded association of the crane with celebration of peace and prayers for those lost in war.
he oldest known use of the motif of a thousand cranes is a 15m (50ft) long scroll by Sotatsu, an artist of the early 17th century. The theme was repeated innumerable times in art on screens and walls. Inevitably the crane's reputation for long life and prosperity became a symbol of good health, and origami cranes became a popular gift for those who were ill.
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*Dimensions shown to the nearest quarter inch.
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