The Crane Wife

In Japanese folklore there is a story of the crane wife. One day a man saves an injured crane while he is out walking. Soon afterwards he meets a beautiful woman and they get married. She is able to weave beautiful cloth each night which they sell at the market to make money. The man's wife makes him promise not to look at her while she works and each night she shuts herself away in a room.

'Crane/Heron Maiden' - Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

As time passes, the man notices that she is looking increasingly unwell. One night he decides to take a peek into her weaving room and to his surprise, he discovers that she is actually the grateful crane in disguise, plucking out her feathers each night to weave into the beautiful cloth. Because he has now seen her she can no longer stay with him and so flies off leaving him heartbroken.

'Crane Flying over Wave' - Utagawa Hiroshige

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Cheryl Kirk Noll

Cheryl Kirk Noll
 

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