Reminds me of the time I was threatened with 99 luftballoons.

In the long history of the Japanese paper-folding art known as origami, there is no more of an iconic shape than that of the magestic crane. It became an international symbol of peace due to the famous story of Hiroshima atomic bombing victim Sadako Sasaki who attempted to fold 1,000 of them in the belief that doing so would grant a wish.

▼ Residents of Toride City, Ibaraki Prefecture were even recently treated to a giant paper crane in the sky made of drones

With such a bittersweet backstory and endearing message of recovering from the ravages of war and disaster, it’s hard to imagine any way for someone to weaponize these paper birds… but someone has.

On 11 May Hyogo Prefectural Police in Kobe City arrested a 22-year-old man for sending 15 threatening letters and one case containing roughly 1,500 origami cranes to his former driving school.

The incidents occurred between 27 October of last year and 9 April this year, in which envelopes with a 39-year-old employee’s name on it were placed in the school’s mailbox. The letters reportedly had messages such as “Die!” and “Quit your job now!” written on them. The paper cranes, however, were simply paper cranes.

Police used surveillance video to track the suspect down and found that he was a former student of the driving school who had failed to get his truck driver’s license last year. After his arrest, the man admitted to the crime and said that he had gotten “angry at their poor teaching style.” When asked the million-dollar question of what was up with the cranes, he told police that folding them helped to calm him down.

▼ Sounds like the regular cranes weren’t quite cutting it. He should have upped his dosage to the Celebration Crane.

Paper cranes have been a somewhat controversial practice in recent years because they would be sent along with much needed supplies during emergencies. This led to instances of aid workers having to awkwardly remind people that their well-intentioned gesture is interfering with their life-and-death logistics work.

However, this may very well be the first instance of someone sending a large number of paper cranes with pure malicious intent. Readers of the news online were nonetheless impressed with his origami skills and some suggested other possible career paths.

“He could do outsourcing for elementary and junior high students across the country and be rich.”
“Maybe he should forget about driving and stick to origami.”
“Why couldn’t he put that effort into learning how to drive?”
“Actually doing the 1,000 cranes thing is really hard, and he went above and beyond that! It’s rather impressive.”
“You really just need to put a small fraction of that effort into studying and you’ll pass.”
“I can barely get past 10 without getting bored and quitting.”
“I’m thinking the school made the right call not letting this guy behind the wheel of a large truck.”

Getting a driver’s license in Japan can be hard and truck-driving certainly isn’t for everyone. Hopefully, this guy can get back on the straight and narrow by finding some way to utilize his remarkable ability to focus and very unique skill set.

Source: Kobe Shimbun NEXT, Kini Soku
Top image: Pakutaso
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!