One of the Three Great Gardens of Japan; a cultural heritage site for the world to treasure.
Cranes have been kept in Korakuen since the Edo Period, and their graceful form has fascinated people whenever they have been released into the garden.
Korakuen's cranes disappeared from the garden shortly after World War II. Guo Moruo, former president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, had, as a young man, attended Okayama's Dairoku Senior High School, and, in 1956, he presented the garden with two cranes.
Next to the Crane Aviary there is an inscription of a Chinese poem that conveys Guo Moruo's feelings: "Korakuen lost its castle in the war and seemed so lonely that at the least I wanted the cranes to return to the garden and be its good companions."
Then, in collaboration with Kushiro City in Hokkaido, the garden succeeded in hatching and raising many cranes, and their beautiful forms returned to the garden.
Now, over 60 cranes are being raised in Okayama Prefecture, making it the number one prefecture in Japan for the rearing these birds.
Eight cranes are currently being raised in a cage in Korakuen, but on New Year's Day every year they are released into the garden to showcase their beautiful forms.
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