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Topic: joss paper.  (Read 3970 times)
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spillyjane
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« on: September 25, 2004 12:09:13 PM »

today, whilst in an asian market, i happened upon some lovely joss paper, so i bought a few packets.  as i am an origami fiend, i find it impossible to pass by attractive papers and not buy them.

i thought i understood the significance of joss paper--meaning, i knew that it was used to fold objects for funerary or celebratory events.  but upon doing further research and learning that these cheap pretty papers actually have deep religious significance for some people...i just feel bad about having purchased them with the full intention of folding paper cranes and the like out of them.  as i also enjoy folding in public and leaving my origami creations in unlikely locations for people to find and enjoy i'm thinking that buying joss paper was not the best move.  i really don't want to offend anyone...i doubt i'll even display it in my own home, let alone bring it in public.

i'm sure i'm being way too hard on myself...but i was just wondering if others felt the same way about joss paper... Huh

thanks for reading.
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2004 12:30:19 PM »

I believe that the message of the crane is very symbolic and probably acceptable, tho I don't really know.
On the onther hand, have you been to www.foundart.com It sounds like you might really enjoy this site! Artists can track some of their left objects throu it... very cool!
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2004 06:44:45 AM »

I think it's great that you're being so respectful of it!  I admit that I haven't researched it so I truly don't know all the significance, but on the other hand, I think that your original plan of folding things like cranes and leaving them in public places would be a wonderful way to pay homage to the importance of the paper.  After all, you're sharing something beautiful and special with your fellow human being (and cranes certainly have a great deal of positive symbolism).  Maybe I'm way off the mark (since I haven't researched it yet), but that's my gut reaction.
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spillyjane
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2004 02:47:22 PM »

hm, you could be right.  the cranes do posess a powerful social and symbolic message...i wonder if people would be offended by finding them unburnt in public places...or perhaps they wouldn't be.

what if the point was to find a crane left at random and to take it as your own and burn it in honour of your own ancestors?  or in honour of some other cause..?

regardless, i think it would be a beautiful thing to see beautiful gold cranes being "set free" by being burned for a specific purpose.  or just to enjoy the spectacle itself.  perhaps i'm being obtuse.
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2004 05:00:24 PM »

what if you wrote your favorite prayer or poem on them before you left them. just anything inspiring or spiritually uplifting. i cant imagine how anyone would be offended by that..
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spillyjane
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2004 12:26:56 PM »

yeah that could work...

i could write the "instructions" in a kind of poem/prayer...telling people to take the crane(s) and burn it/them for whatever purpose.
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2004 09:43:39 PM »

That would be so beautiful and special!  I know I'd feel honored if I found one of those! 
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spillyjane
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2004 07:40:38 AM »

you think so?  i was really liking the idea myself...i thought it would be beautiful, too.

i'm just wondering though, if the message would be lost on most people.  i get the feeling, since we're both agreeing on this here, that we're not "most people."  i'm still trying to ensure that no scrap of potential insult remains...

but then again, there's no pleasing everyone all the time.  i just don't want to make my local papers:  "culturally insensitive clod angers asian community."  i think that i'm thinking about this too much.
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2004 08:59:09 AM »

you would be surprised how much a small gesture can make to a person... maybe alot of clods won't get the point... but you may just make somebodys day... and that in my opinion is what it is all about.
You are officially my hero of the week... for having one great idea!
BTW, did you check out foundart.com?
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spillyjane
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2004 09:13:43 AM »

yeah i did...i'm looking into it.

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