World’s largest paper crane made by Hiroshima citizens enters Guinness Book of World Records

by Yuki Kuwata, Staff Writer

The Guinness Book of World Records in the United Kingdom has certified a paper crane with a wingspan of 81.94 meters, created by citizens of Hiroshima, as the world's largest. The Peace Piece Project, a citizens' group which organized the creation of the crane, shared the news on February 17.

The world's largest paper crane stood about 36 meters high and was made of a huge sheet of paper weighing roughly 1 ton. The crane was completed by a total of about 800 people who responded to the project team's request to join the effort at a Hiroshima Shudo University parking lot over the two days of August 29-30 last year. Even people from outside the Hiroshima area, such as participants from the Kinki and Kyushu regions, came to take part in the project which aimed to send a message of peace from the A-bombed city of Hiroshima.

An application to enter the paper crane in the Guinness Book of World Records was made on October 1 last year, and the certification arrived on February 10. Taeko Tada, the project representative, said happily at a press conference: "Despite the heavy rain and strong wind, the participants all worked hard until late in the evening. Our hard work has been rewarded."

The paper crane has already been dismantled. The previous record for the world's largest paper crane was held by a crane with a wingspan of 78 meters, made by citizens of Odate, Akita Prefecture in 2001.

Encouraged by their entry in the Guinness Book, the Peace Piece Project plans to lend its support to the city of Hiroshima in its effort to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The project will start a "one-million signatures campaign" on February 21 in order to expand the support for "the Olympics as a celebration of world peace."

(Originally published on February 18, 2010)