Tsuru for Solidarity is a nonviolent, direct action project of Japanese American social justice advocates working to end detention sites and support front-line immigrant and refugee communities that are being targeted by racist, inhumane immigration policies. We stand on the moral authority of Japanese Americans who suffered the atrocities and legacy of U.S. concentration camps during WWII and we say, “Stop Repeating History!” 

Never Again is NOW. Our mission is to:

  • educate, advocate, and protest to close all U.S. concentration camps;

  • build solidarity with other communities that have experienced forced removal, detention, deportation and separation of families;

  • coordinate intergenerational, cross-community healing circles addressing the trauma of our shared histories.

Why are we here?

Strands of tsuru at fort sill with tag reading "no more U.S. Concentration Camps"

What is "tsuru"?

TSURU means crane in Japanese, and symbolizes peace, compassion, hope and healing. In the traditional Japanese folk art of paper folding (origami), it is a popular, easy-to-learn figure that children and adults of all abilities can create. The cranes we fold today are expressions of SOLIDARITY with children, families and communities that are under attack.

Yonsei and Dreamers hold up tsuru strands during healing ceremony in Fort Sill, Oklahoma protest
Poster of WWII era mother and child set in front of Dilley prison fence. Poster text reads: "Families belong together"

Why is the Japanese American concentration camp history important today?

On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued Order 9066, authorizing the displacement and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast.
With this order, the U.S. government uprooted the Japanese community from their homes and businesses, and incarcerated them for years in concentration camps, termed “War Relocation Authority Centers.”
When we see the migrant children incarcerated today, we recognize ourselves and we say: #StopRepeatingHistory
Learn more about our history >>

What have we done so far?

Tsuru for Solidarity has organized and participated in cross-community direct actions around the country to protest active and planned U.S. immigrant incarceration sites. 
Read more about our past actions here>>
Watch some of our work here>>

You can join us from anywhere--learn to fold a crane:

tsuru folding instructions
credit: Lauren Sumida

Guidelines:

For stringing tsuru (cranes), we ask that tsuru be strung together, touching each other, with no loose thread or spaces between them. This is important, as it helps prevent the chain from tangling. If you would like to nest them inside each other, you may do so, but make sure they are not nested too tightly (otherwise the chain of tsuru cannot bend).

Other notes:

  • Please make the chain of tsuru no longer than 4 feet/ 1.2 meters.
  • It’s best to use no. 5 embroidery thread and a big tapestry needle. Please avoid use of fishing line or regular sewing thread to string the cranes–these tangle very easily.
  • Please make a loop at the top of the strung tsuru and fasten a large safety pin to it (not paper clips). 
  • The number of cranes per strand depends on the size of the origami paper
  • If you’d like to tag your string with a group or family name, please do so! 
  • If you can write the total number of cranes on the outside of each packaging, it will help us keep count without having to opening each package. 
 

Thank you! 

We bring tsuru to our protest sites as a sign of peace and healing.

You can be a part of our actions by making and mailing paper cranes to:

JACL Chicago
5415 N. Clark St,
Chicago, IL, 6064
National Japanese American Historical Society
1684 Post St.
San Francisco CA 94115
Duncan Ryuken Williams
c/o Ito Center
825 Bloom Walk, ACB 130D
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1481

 

See here for local “Fold-In” events. 

Contact event organizers for more information

New York-based Japanese American Theodora holds up a chain of paper cranes
Here is an ideal tsuru chain--tsuru resting on top of each other on a string about 4 feet long (thank you to Theodora Yoshikami for demonstrating!)

How else can I get involved right now?

Funds are used for the out-of-pocket costs and expenses of organizing actions to call on the U.S. government to end family separation and to close the camps for migrant families and children – including travel costs for survivors and descendants of U.S. concentration camps, permits and other location-related costs, and event materials. 

We are incredibly grateful for all your donations, support, and encouragement. Without it, our work would not be possible. Thank you!

Japanese American camp survivors stand in front of Fort Sill Gate with protest signs and paper cranes
credit: John Ota

Sign the petition to close the camps: 

Sign the petition to end the Nakamoto Group's ICE Contract:

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