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Cranes, Children’s Peace Monument, Hiroshima

October 24, 2012 by  

Cranes, Children’s Peace Monument, Hiroshima, The Children’s Peace Monument is a monument for peace to commemorate Sadako Sasaki and the thousands of child victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

The monument is located in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, itself in the city of Hiroshima. Designed by native artists Kazuo Kikuchi and Kiyoshi Ikebe, the monument was built using money derived from a fund-raising campaign by Japanese school children including Sadako’s classmates, with the main statue entitled ‘A-bomb Children’ being unveiled on the 5th of May, 1958, or (Children’s Day in Japan). Sadako is immortalized at the top of the statue, where she holds a crane.

Thousands of origami cranes from all over the world are offered around the monument on a daily basis, with ancient Japanese tradition holding that one who folds a thousand cranes can have one wish granted. They serve as a sign that the children who make them and those who visit the statue desire a world without nuclear war, having been tied to the statue by the story that Sadako died from radiation-induced leukemia after folding just under a thousand cranes, wishing for world peace. However, an exhibit which appeared in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum stated that by the end of August, 1955, Sadako had achieved her goal and continued to fold more cranes. Unfortunately, her wish was not granted; she died of the leukemia on October 25, 1955.

Beneath the main structure lies a bronze crane that works as a wind chime when pushed against a traditional peace bell from which it is suspended, the two pieces having been donated by Nobel Laureate in Physics Hideki Yukawa.

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