August 6, 1945
The world's first atomic bomb
detonated in the sky over Hiroshima.
Sadako Sasaki and the Paper Cranes for Peace
The death of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese atomic bomb victim, started a worldwide movement for
peace. Through her tragic death, she reminded people of the horrors of war and the need for peace and
Sadako Sasaki was only ten years old when she was diagnosed with
leukemia believed to be caused by the effects of the atomic bomb
which was dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. Seeing the
young girl dying a slow and painful death and to cheer her up, a friend
told Sadako about the Japanese tradition of folding cranes.
In Japan, the crane is a symbol of long-life and prosperity and origami
cranes are usually presented as gifts to those who are ill.
It was believed that by folding 1000 paper cranes, one’s wishes would
be granted. The dying and devastated young Sadako started folding
paper cranes so that her wish for a long life would be granted. Sadly,
Sadako only managed to fold around 600 paper cranes before she
died at the age of twelve. Her mourning classmates folded the rest.
To honor the young girl’s vision for peace and to remember all the
young atomic bomb victims, Sadako’s classmates raised funds and
built a memorial statue in Hiroshima Peace Park. On August 6 each
year, remembering the horrific event when the atomic bomb was
dropped on Hiroshima, people from all over the world send folded
paper cranes to be placed at Sadako’s statue.
How long ago was the Sadako statue in Hiroshima was built?
43 years ago. It was built in 1958.
Who built the statue and how long did it take to build?
Sadako's classmates formed a committee when they were 12 years old. They started collecting money
through publishing Kokeshi, a book about the memory of Sadako. They also wrote letters to school
principals all over Japan. Children started the campaign right after her death in 1955. It took 3 years to
complete the project.
Are Sadako's Parents alive?
Sadako’s father just passed away in February 2003 at 87 years old.
Her mother died in December 1998 at 80 years old.
Who built the statue of Sadako in Seattle and When?
Peace Activist, Dr. Floyd Schmoe, who was awarded a peace prize in Japan in 1988. He used the award
money to clear a plot of land and build the statue in Seattle. He was 93 and took 3 years to complete the
peace park in 1990.