Through the Years -From Hiroshima to the World -
The campaign to build the Children's Peace Monument, inspired by Sadako's death,
spread nationwide, and the monument was completed three years later.
Subsequently, it became the story of Sadako and the paper cranes was taken up in picture books and other works
that spread it around the world. Children everywhere began folding and even building their own monuments.
After her death and to this day, the story of Sadako and the paper cranes continues to help children ask important questions about life and understand the importance of peace.
| Toward Construction of the Children's Peace
Her classmates at Nobori-cho Elementary School were terribly shocked to lose their dear friend.
They discussed what they could do for her, and came up with the idea of building her a grave or some kind of monument.
Someone suggested that they build a monument to console
not only Sadako's spirit but those of all the children who died from the atomic bombing.
Everyone agreed, and the movement was born.
In this way, their simple hope gradually grew into a large movement
involving elementary, junior high, and high schools in the city.
|"Let's build a Children's Peace Monument."|
Something We Can Do Ourselves
Date of photo unknown / Sasaki family
When they graduated, the children of the 6th grade Bamboo Class, Sadako's classmates, formed the Unity Club as a kind of graduates club. The members of the Unity Club vowed to continue to visit Sadako even after graduation. By fall, however, those trips had fallen off greatly. Plagued by remorse at having done nothing for her while she was alive, they met almost daily after the funeral to talk about what they might do now. They came up with the idea of a grave or some kind of monument.
Leafletting in front of the venue for the Conference of the National Junior High Schools Principals' Association
November 12, 1955 / Hiroshima City Auditorium
The Unity Club, which had proposed the idea of building a statue to console the spirits of Sadako and all the other children who died from the atomic bombing, distributed 2,000 handmade leaflets in front of the hall where the Conference of the National Junior High Schools Principals' Association was in progress. The leaflets asked for support for building a monument and stated that the call came from: Hiroshima Municipal Nobori-cho Junior High School 1st Year Students All the classmates of the late Sadako Sasaki.
Formation of the Hiroshima Society of School Children for Building World Peace
January 18, 1956 /Hiroshima Municipal Nobori-cho Junior High School
Contributions from people around Japan who supported the movement flooded into Nobori-cho Junior High School. Amazed at the outpouring of support, the school called on elementary, junior high, and high schools in the city to use the construction of a statue as an opportunity to learn about what happened in the bombings and reflect on peace. In time, the Hiroshima Society of School Children for Building World Peace was organized, comprised by the student councils of each school in the city.
The Funding Campaign Develops
April 8, 1956 / in front of Fukuya Department Store
The members of the Unity Club joined the fundraising campaign centered around the Hiroshima Society of School Children for Building World Peace. On April 1 that year, they issued a prospectus to schools in Japan asking for donations from, and the campaign moved into full gear. Because the campaign had already been introduced in newspapers, on the radio, etc., the prospectus quickly garnered responses from schools around the country. About a year after Sadako's death, in October it was decided to erect the statue in Peace Memorial Park. Now it was definite--the statue would be built.
|Completion of the Statue|
Unveiling of the Children's Peace Monument
May 5, 1958 / Peace Memorial Park
Two and a half years had gone by after the start of the statue movement. Each with her or his own thoughts and emotions, people gazed at the statue built and completed through the efforts and goodwill of so many. One of Sadako's classmates--the wellspring of the movement--said that, to her, the statue was Sadako herself.
Subsequent Peace Activities
November 4, 1962/ Office of Paper Crane Club
Though the Hiroshima Society of School Children for Building World Peace was established with goals that went beyond building the Children's Peace Monument, after the statue's completion its activities fell off drastically. On the other hand, after the completion of the Thousand Paper Cranes, related persons formed the core of the Paper Crane Club. The photo shows a Paper Crane Club meeting held to console Sadako's soul.
|Ripples of the Movement|
45 Poster for the movie Thousand Paper Cranes
In conjunction with building the statue, Sadako was introduced through films, magazine features, and in many other ways. Later, these media served to spread "the story of Sadako and the paper cranes."
46 Flier distrubuted in front of the venue for the Conference of the National Junior High Schools Principals' Association calling for help in constructing a monument.
48 Newsletter of the Hiroshima Society of School Children for Building World Peace
50 Program of the unveiling ceremony for the Children's Peace Monument
47 Kokeshi, the essay collection compiled by Sadako's classmates in her honor
49 A letter of encouragement sent from Hokkaido to the Hiroshima Society of School Children for Building World Peace
51 Scenario for the film Thousand Paper Cranes
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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