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Sadako Sasaki Inspired Peace by Folding 1,000 Paper Cranes

Updated on November 2, 2014

Sadako Statue

Sadako Statue in Seattle
Sadako Statue in Seattle | Source

One Child Inspires Peace in the World by folding Cranes

Sadako Sasaki was just two years old when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. At the age of 11, she was diagnosed with Leukemia, or the "Atomic Bomb Disease." In 1955 leukemia was a death sentence.

Her courage in the face of her cancer and determination to fold 1,000 paper cranes to be granted a wish had been an inspiration to many people all over the world.

Since her death at the young age of 12, Sadako has become a symbol of Peace throughout the world. Her inspiring story is taught to school children everywhere often as they learn how to fold a peace crane.

Image of Sadako Statue by Nordique.

Peace in the world.

This is our cry. This is our prayer.

Three reasons to admire Sadako Sasaki

  1. Her spirit, determination and courage in the face of adversity.
  2. Her gift of creating a symbol of peace--the paper crane--for generations to follow.
  3. Her lasting legacy as a child of peace.

Sadako Sasaki at age 12

Sadako Sasako
Sadako Sasako | Source

Sadako Sasaki Brief History

Sadako Sasaki (January 7, 1943 - October 25, 1955) was a Japanese girl who was just two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, in Hiroshima, Japan.

Sadako was at home when the explosion occurred, about one mile from Ground Zero. By November 1954, chicken pox had developed on her neck and behind her ears. In January 1955, purple spots had formed on her legs. Subsequently, she was diagnosed with leukemia (her mother referred to it as "an atom bomb disease"). She was hospitalized on February 21, 1955, and given, at the most, a year to live.

After her death, Sadako's friends and schoolmates published a collection of letters in order to raise funds to build a memorial to her and all of the children who had died from the effects of the atomic bomb.

Source: Sadako Sasako. Wikipedia.

I will write peace on your wings

and you will fly all over the world.

Sadako Sasaki, age 12

Sadako Sasaki Animation on YouTube

This short animation by eleven-year-old Rachel Cohn who tells the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who bravely battled leukemia from radiation exposure after the bombing of Hiroshima, and tried to fold 1,000 origami cranes from summerkitchenstudio.

Sadako Sasaki - Video Animation

Poll about Sadako Sasaki

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Educational Resources on Sadako Sasaki

Sadako - The Story

Sadako
Sadako

One of the more popular novels about Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.

The author tells the story of a leukemia-stricken Sadako as a quietly courageous girl.

Appropriate for children ages 5 - 9.

 

Sadako Sasaki Statue in Hiroshima

Sadako Sasaki in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan by Dunican
Sadako Sasaki in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan by Dunican | Source

Sadako Sasaki Books Available on Amazon

No words can describe the pain and horror

Photo from Hiroshima

One of the very few photos taken the very day the bomb fell on Hiroshima,
One of the very few photos taken the very day the bomb fell on Hiroshima, | Source

Folding Paper Cranes: An Atomic Memoir in the Amazon Spotlight

Folding Paper Cranes: An Atomic Memoir
Folding Paper Cranes: An Atomic Memoir

Author Leonard Bird writes about the history of our tragic atomic legacy and the future of nuclear weapons.

With his unique perspective and gift for powerful expression, he has written a book to mark the sixtieth anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 

A Reflection on Dropping the Bomb...

Lee A. Makela shares a very poignant reflection in her page on Cranes for Peace. She was part of an effort by the Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights to deliver a thousand paper cranes folded as a concrete expression of their own personal or collective prayers for peace. Lee was one who volunteered to deliver the cranes to Japan at the Childrens Peace Memorial in Hiroshima.

One of the men accompanying her on the trip to bring peace cranes to Hiroshima was a retired lawyer from the Seattle area who had served in the United States Army during that same conflict.

He was serving in Europe when the use of the atomic bomb ended the Pacific conflict.

This former army member reflected at the time, he was ecstatic that the use of the bomb had brought the war to a final conclusion. He was glad that "he would not have to run the risk of being killed during what everyone assumed would be a bloody land invasion of the Japanese home islands."

After bringing the cranes to the Childrens Peace memorial and visiting the exhibits at the nearby Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum that graphically detailing the impact of that single weapon on the life of the entire city, this former army member told Lee,

  • ...for the very first time, he had begun to ask himself if maybe, just maybe, had he lost his own life in exchange for the Bomb NOT being used, the sacrifice might have been a worthy one.
Source: Lee A. Makela. 2002. Cranes for Peace. Glimpses of Japan.

Image of Photography of Hiroshima after the bomb by Eliazar.

The Story of Sadako Sasaki - One Thousand Paper Cranes for Peace

A beautifully done story of Sadako Sasaki set to John Lennon's Happy Christmas (War is Over) sung by Sarah McLauchlan.

The text is in both Spanish and English.

The Story of Sadako Sasaki

Happy Christmas (War is Over)

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

This version of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Happy Christmas (War is Over) is sung by Sarah McLachlan.

 

Sadako Children's Peace Memorial

Sadako - Children's Peace Memorial. Children's Memorial.
Sadako - Children's Peace Memorial. Children's Memorial. | Source

Children's Peace Memorial

After her death in 1955, Sadako's friends and schoolmates published a collection of letters in order to raise funds to build a memorial to her and all of the children who had died from the effects of the atomic bomb.

In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, also called the Genbaku Dome.

At the foot of the statue is a plaque that reads, This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.

Source: Wikipedia. Sadako Sasaki.

This is our cry,

This is our prayer,

Peace in the world.

Children's Peace Memorial

Hiroshima, Japan

Children at Hiroshima Sadako monument

School children visit the Sadako monument in groups representing their school. Often they bring wreathes of origami cranes to leave at the monument by Dogsnark.

Children at Hiroshima Sadako Monument - Video

Fold A Thousand Cranes

Peace Cranes for Peace

Paper cranes prayers for peace, Hiroshima Japan
Paper cranes prayers for peace, Hiroshima Japan | Source

Peace Cranes - Wikimedia. 2005. Paper cranes prayers for peace, Hiroshima Japan. This image has been released into the public domain by its author, Fg2.

Thousand Origami Cranes

In Japan, the crane is considered to be one of the mystical or holy creatures. They believe it lives for a thousand years. There is an ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane.

Folding a thousand cranes is a popular gift for special occasions like for weddings or to celebrate a newborn baby. 1,000 cranes are also popular for wishing, when people fold a thousand cranes and wish for a long life, a loving marriage or recovery from illness or injury.

Source: Thousand Cranes. Wikipedia.

Sadako and the Paper Cranes on YouTube

Another beautiful musical tribute to Sadako.

Sadako and the Paper Cranes on YouTube

Sadoko's Song

The paper crane

Fold the crane with love

Each crease that you stroke

Think about the world around you

Fold the crane with love

Each fold that you touch

Feel about the world around you

Fold a paper crane with love

By Michiko Pumpian

The Paper Crane - Sadako's Song

How to Fold a Paper Crane on YouTube

These step by step instructions help you to fold your own origami crane. Perfect for beginners.

LisaShea.com has many more photos of origami and origami folding instructions.

Origami Crane Folding Instructions

Paper Folding Origami Kit

Oodles of Origami: Japanese Paper Folding Art, Gift Kit
Oodles of Origami: Japanese Paper Folding Art, Gift Kit

This origami Kit includes a colorful pre-made Peace Crane, 64-page instruction book for 8 traditional Origami models and 64 sheets of high-quality Origami paper.

The paper comes in 8 colors and 4 sizes.

 

Diagram on How to Fold an Origami Crane

A diagram for the most well-known traditional japanese origami model, the Crane
A diagram for the most well-known traditional japanese origami model, the Crane | Source

Sadako Statue in the Seattle Peace Park

Sadako in Peace Park
Sadako in Peace Park | Source

Sadako Sasaki in the Seattle Peace Park

A life size bronze of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who survived the Hiroshima bombing, but later died from radiation sickness at age 12.

Children visit the park and bring origami cranes to the statue.

Seattle Sadako Peace Park

The Seattle Peace Park was built by Floyd Schmoe, winner of the 1988 Hiroshima Peace Prize. The park was dedicated on August 6, 1990, 45 years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

The statue in the park is a life-size bronze of Sadako Sasaki sculpted by Daryl Smith. Sadako is the young Japanese girl who survived the Hiroshima bombing only to die of radiation sickness and leukemia at age 12.

1000 Cranes for Japan in 2011

1000 Kraniche für Japan

1000 Kraniche für Japan // 1000 Cranes
1000 Kraniche für Japan // 1000 Cranes | Source

Paper Cranes for Japan

There has been an outpouring of support for the country of Japan following the devastating March 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami.

Students Rebuild have partnered with DoSomething.org, to provide an opportunity for students worldwide to support their Japanese peers by making paper cranes.

A virtual chain of 1000 cranes was created on Flickr with the hope that

  • "Strings of one thousand paper cranes are often sent to places where tragedy has struck as a symbol of hope & healing. Sometimes groups will fold 1000 cranes for an ailing friend in hopes of speeding their recovery."

There are several ways to get involved. I've listed some of the ones that I've found below.

While the RocketMoms on Squidoo are not making paper cranes, we have made lenses,r converted lenses over, or have existing lenses (like this one) to benefit Save The Children, one of the organizations providing relief efforts.

Image of 1000 Kraniche für Japan // 1000 Cranes for Japan Project by Nina Yasmine.

Folding Cranes for Japan

Following the March 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, people are folding cranes for fundraisers and hope for the people of Japan.

History of Sadako Sasaki Page

Earning a Purple Star for Sadako Sasaki

This lens was originally created on December 17, 2007 as part of the Squidoo Superhero Project, to make 5 lenses in 2 weeks about the people who have inspired me, mentored me or changed the way I look at the world. Even though it is over 3 years old, the lens is still relevant today.

As part of the "Back to the Future Purple Star Quest" I chose this lens to update. I am honored that Robin has chosen this lens to write about in the Official Squidoo blog, dubbed this lens as "a stunning example of what a Purple Star lens can be."

The lens had been on my mind, since the recent earthquake in Japan and one that I included on my other RocketMom for Japan lenses. I discovered that people around the world are folding cranes to support the people of Japan.

Sadako gave us the paper crane

to symbolize our yearning

for peace and hope in the world.

Share your thoughts about Sadako Sasaki

Share your thoughts about Sadako in the comment section below.

Comments on Sadako Sasaki

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Sadako is my hero since i've read the book.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Everything you wanted to know about Sadako and more. I have two books about her and while they are aimed at children I found the stories quite interesting and worth my time.

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 6 years ago

      Inspirational lens, thank you for bringing Sadako Sasaki to my attention. See you around the galaxy...

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 6 years ago from California

      What a simply wonderful lens. Angel Blessings! Bear hugs, Frankster

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Lensrolled to Born to Be Angelic Angel Blessed. Lovely lens

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      thank you for sharing this touching story. it is beautiful.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 6 years ago from New York City

      Thanks to the many pilgrims, pioneers and angels for peace, we have less war in the world now than ever in history. World War II seems to have taught us some lessons. But it's important that movements like this one stay firm and keep working for peace until this scourge is ended forever.

      Thanks for a smart, insightful and tender lens.

    • Lemming13 profile image

      Lemming13 6 years ago

      For Valentine's Day, a special thank you for making this heart-warming lens.

    • Lemming13 profile image

      Lemming13 6 years ago

      This is one of the best lenses I have seen on Squidoo, and one that should be shown to every schoolchild in the world. As a former member of CND I still fold cranes for Sadako every August, and hang them from a tree in my front garden; but it saddens me how few people understand why. Thank you for a beautiful lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      When I was in 4th grade,

      my teacher read Sadako and the Thousand Paper cranes to us.

      Me and a boy named Jacob decided to make a paper crane.

      He had the teacher helping him,

      but I had to teach myself.

      I was 10 years old!

      I didn't manage to sucessfully make a crane

      until I was 11 years old and in 5th grade.

      To anyone else wanting to learn how to make one,

      Folding a paper crane is very hard at first.

      In my case,

      there were instructions(complete with pictures) in the back of the book!

    • profile image

      traceysfolly lm 6 years ago

      What an amazing story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      sadako is my hero.i read her story it is sad but she is the best.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I have not heard Sadako's story, though I knew the crane story. I am glad I have read this and thank you so much for the link.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      it was so pity.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Sadako is my hero!!!

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 8 years ago

      this is a beautiful lens inspiring peace... we have featured in on the Group Lens, Planet Earth: Our Garden of Eden. Namastè, Echo

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I love Sadako! I have always thought she was an inspiration, and definitely a great role model. I have heard her story many times threw my 16 years of life, and I am currently doing a hero project on her myself! I thank you very much for putting all of this info in one place like this. I hope it helps to make my own project even greater!

    • JudyDunn profile image

      JudyDunn 8 years ago

      What a wonderful lens! Thank you for compiling all of this information in one place.

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