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In Europe, the crane was respected as an instrument of godlike will, greatly admired in antiquity primarily because of its indefatigable ability to fly great distances. At that time, migratory formation flights around the Mediterranean were considered awe-inspiring, and the bird was appropriately revered.


The crane’s remarkable process of courtship was considered an exemplary expression of joy in life and love, as well as majesty and pride. This bird was also greatly admired for its ability to exterminate snakes and its invulnerability to harm. These attributes often made it the perfect symbol for the visual language of heraldry, and thus the crane made an appearance in many coats of arms.


In the Middle Kingdom, the ancient characters for the crane have the same pronunciation as the characters for luck and success in many languages spoken in the Chinese empire. It was also thought that cranes lived exceptionally long lives, which earned them mythical attributes. A long life was considered one life’s five possible fortunes. The long life referred to in this case was not solely life on earth, but included the afterlife. In the various Chinese belief systems, life did not cease at death, but merely shifted to another, higher level. This is the reason why the crane is also to be discovered embroidered in gold on ancient funereal dresses.


The crane Tsuru is a respected and revered symbolic animal of the Japanese island kingdom. The Japanese, like the Chinese, attributed longevity and many other special qualities to the crane, some also concerning its beauty and character. Its grace and calm demeanor at rest as well as elegance in motion received much attention and acknowledgment.


The proximity of cranes to human dwellings contributed much to its worship - particularly the mother birds protecting their brood in a similar fashion to humans. This contributed to the fact that the animals were always treated with the greatest admiration and consideration. The arrival of the Tsuru was interpreted as a prophetic mark for “great good fortune.”


The Crane, time eternal.

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