Young Girl's Death from the A-bomb---Sadako Sasaki,
12 Years of Age
young girl died in the fall of 1955.
Ten years had passed since the atomic bombing,
and Hiroshima City was bustling again.
However, behind the cheer of recovery lay scars from the bombing that were still raw.
The US and the USSR were engaged in an arms race and repeatedly conducting nuclear tests; higher than natural radiation levels were detected in Japanese rain.
During this period,
people could not forget about nuclear weapons.
1. Paper cranes from foreign countries
| Sadako's 4,675 Days of Life
Sadako Sasaki was born in 1943 and experienced the bombing at age two.
She was healthy and athletically gifted growing up, but ten years after the bombing, she was suddenly hospitalized.
The diagnosis was leukemia. One day, a thousand paper cranes arrived at the hospital,
and she received some of them as a get-well gift.
This inspired her to begin folding her own thinking, "I want to live."
After eight months in the hospital, she died surrounded by her family.
Sadako's parents hoped she would grow up healthy.
1943 / Kusunoki-cho
Sadako Sasaki was born to the Sasaki family on January 7, 1943. The family owned a barbershop, and she was the first daughter. Japan was at war at the time, and soon after her birth her father was drafted into the army. Her mother managed the barbershop. In the photo, Sadako's mother is seated in the center holding Sadako.
The Dropping of the Atomic Bomb
August 6, 1945
On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Sadako was exposed at home with her family in Kusunoki-cho, about 1.7 km from the hypocenter. The blast blew her out of the house, but she escaped without a burn or injury. Very soon, flames were leaping up in the area. Sadako's mother fled, carrying her daughter. Near Misasa Bridge, they were caught in the "black rain."
Two months after the atomic bombing
Early October, 1945
Because Sadako's home had burned down, the family took shelter in a relative's home in Miyoshi in the northern part of the prefecture. The heat rays and fires had burnt up everything consumable within a two-kilometer radius of the hypocenter. The atomic bomb's blast, heat ray, and radiation were devastating. Of the roughly 350,000 people who were in the city at the time, 140,000 +-10,000 had perished by the end of December because of that single bomb.
New lives Begin
Date unknown / Sasaki Barbershop
Beset by post-war turmoil and shortages of necessities, people steadfastly worked to reconstruct their lives. The Sasaki family opened a new barbershop in the city in 1947. Little by little, their lives returned to normal. Sadako grew up healthily and entered Nobori-cho Elementary School.
Fastest Runner in the School
October 1954 / Nobori-cho Elementary School
Sadako in the 6th grade. At 135 centimeters tall and weighing 27 kilograms, she was a little thin, but quite vigorous. She could run 50 meters in 7.5 seconds, so she never lost a race. Chosen to be one of the relay race runners for Fall Sports Day, she turned in a fine performance. Her dream was to become a physical education teacher in junior high school. It was noticed around September that she looked a little pale, but nobody was particularly worried. Sadako is in the center of the front row.
Signs of Illness
Toward the end of November 1954, Sadako caught a little cold and lumps developed on her neck and behind her ears. The lumps gradually expanded, swelling her face as if she had the mumps. Soon after the New Year, she went to a nearby clinic for an examination. The lumps were not shrinking. By the end of January purple spots (pupura) were visible on her left leg. But no one guessed what disease was tightening its grip on Sadako's body.
A Death Sentence
1939 / Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital
Everyone thought it was a cold at first, but Sadako was sent to a hospital for more precise testing. The diagnosis was leukemia. On February 18, a doctor told Mr. Sasaki, "She has a year at the most. She must be hospitalized at once." He did not want to believe that his daughter had such a grave disease. He explained to Sadako, "You've got to go into the hospital for a little while until those lumps go away." On February 21, Sadako entered the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital.
Sadako's Elementary School Diploma
The Kokeshi Sadako bought and Kept by Her Bedside in the Hospital
Classmates Visiting Sadako
1955 / Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital
When Sadako's classmates at elementary school heard from their teacher that Sadako had been hospitalized, they took turns visiting her. When graduation came, her father received her diploma for her. About one month after entering the hospital, Sadako was enrolled in the same junior high school as her classmates, but she was never to attend.
|12 Peace Prayer
August 6, 1955 / Peace Memorial Park
On August 6, Sadako received permission to leave the hospital to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony with her family. On the way to the park, however, Sadako bled from the gums and felt ill. She had to return to the hospital right away, without attending the ceremony.
Paper Cranes Donated as a Get-well Gift
August 3, 1955 / Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital
In early August, the medicines she was taking reduced the swelling on her neck a little, and she was feeling somewhat better. However, both her legs had purple pupura, indicating that the disease was progressing. On August 3, multi-colored paper cranes were sent to the hospital to encourage the patients by people in Nagoya. Inspired by the bright,cheerful cranes, many patients in the hospital began to fold their own. Sadako was one of that number, folding into each crane her desire to get well.
A Life Snuffed Out
Sadako stringed thread through lines of cranes that she folded and hung them from the ceiling of her room in the hospital. By the end of August---less than a month after she started—Sadako had 1,000 paper cranes, but she continued to fold. Toward the end of September, Sadako's white blood cells began to increase for the third time since being hospitalized. Her condition gradually deteriorated until she could no longer walk unassisted. On the morning of October 25, surrounded by her family, Sadako passed away.
Young Girl's Death from the A-bomb--Sadako Sasaki, 12
Years of Age
Sadako's 4,675 Days of Life
The Sadako in Me
Hiroshima in 1955, the Year of Sadako's Death
Sadako Through the Years -From Hiroshima to the World -
Toward Construction of the Children's Peace Monument
The Sadako Story Spreads
Individuals and Groups Contributors to This Exhibition
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