| The Sadako Story Spreads
After the statue was completed, the story of the actual Sadako Sasaki
began to spread through the world as "the story of Sadako and the paper cranes.
" This began when Austrian journalist Robert Junk visited Hiroshima in 1956 and heard the story.
Junk told the story to the world in his book Light in the Ruins, which fictionalized elements of it,
such as the number of cranes she folded and how she died.
This helped turn Sadako, a girl from Hiroshima who was exposed to the atomic bomb, into the immortal Sadako.
Transcending barriers of historical time, language, ethnicity, and nationality,
Sadako goes out from Hiroshima to the world, where she lives in people's hearts.
|Sadakos from Different Perspectives --
Spreading throughout the World While Changing with the Times
|The historical Sadako was a young girl who lived her brief life intensely, holding fast to the end to her desire to live. She did not fold paper cranes for some political purpose out of religious belief. However, some people who were touched by the Sadako story have molded the image of Sadako to fit their own beliefs. From 1950 to 1980, when the US and the Soviet Union (now, Russia) were locked in a prolonged standoff, Sadako was used by political and social movements. Thus, from one period to the next, Sadako has spread through the world bearing different messages attached by different people.|
| After following her death
Around 1955, the year Sadako died, deaths of survivors were reported as news by the newspapers and other media. Thus, Sadako's death was reported as the death of a young girl from her exposure to the atomic bombing.
The Western bloc during the Cold War (Standoff between the US and the Soviet Union)
In the West (the US and other capitalist countries), the movement to ban atomic and hydrogen bombs and peace activities introduced Sadako as a young girl who opposed nuclear weapons and wanted peace.
52 The Eastern Bloc during the Cold War
May 31, 1988
In the East (the Soviet Union and other socialist countries), Sadako was introduced as an innocent young girl who fell victim to an inhumane weapon developed by the US, which was in the Western bloc.
| From the End of the Cold War to the Present
Foreign children who sent paper cranes. The Sadako story contains elements easily incorporated into teaching materials—the sudden death of a young girl, friendship, war and the atomic bombing, paper cranes, and more. This is why it was utilized as teaching material immediately after her death.
Upper 53: Mulberry Elementary School in Whittier, USA
Right 54: Children's Center in Moscow, Russia
|55 Hiroshima's Viewpoint
November 7, 1995
At the International Court of Justice (The Hague, Netherlands), which was asked to pass judgment on whether or not the use of nuclear weapons violates international law, the mayor of Hiroshima gave an address in which he introduced Sadako Sasaki as one of the victims of the bomb. Sadako has become a symbol of the city's appeal to the world for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of world peace.
|Various Depictions of Sadako--Into the Hearts of People around the World|
|Sadako, whose story has been told from different standpoints, has moved people around the world, they have expressed their emotion in various ways. Some have tried to augment the story's emotional impact by fictionalizing certain elements. One fact that has been variously altered is the number of paper cranes she made. Although Sadako actually folded over 1300 cranes, many versions have her folding less than 1000. Whether factual and fictionalized, however, accounts of Sadako have deeply resonated in the hearts of people around the world. During the 46 years since Sadako's death in 1955, people around the world have created various works related to Sadako.|
|Picture Books and Other Reading Material
When kami-shibai (picture-stories) and comics are added to the picture books and other reading materials, we have confirmed a total of 23 volumes produced in Japan and 14 volumes in 35 other countries. Sadako Will Leben (The Day of the Bomb), written by Karl Bruckner 40 years ago, and Eleanor Coerr's Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, written about 25 years ago, and her later SADAKO, have been translated into many languages and read most widely around the world.
|Film and Video
Flyer of the video On A Paper Crane
Two movies about Sadako have been made in Japan. In the US, an animated film has been made from Eleanor Coerr's book. In the video, Sadako writes a message of peace on the wings of paper cranes. The animated film made from Miho Cibot's work has been released in Japanese, English, and French.
|Monuments and Parks
A number of people have read the books and been moved enough by actually seeing the Children's Peace Monument to take it upon themselves to build their own monuments and parks in an effort to convey Sadako's story to others. Outside of Hiroshima, two monuments and two commemorative parks have been built thus far.
The Paper Crane Monument
(Location: Nobori-cho Municipal Junior High School)
As evidence that the children of Hiroshima understand and accept the prayers for peace invested in the paper cranes sent from overseas to Hiroshima, the Paper Crane Monument was unveiled on October 26, 2000 by the Student Association, Nobori-cho Municipal Junior High School. The Japanese characters carved on the front of the monument mean, "Prayers of the paper cranes here"
Sadako Peace Park and Satue of Sadako Sasaki
(Location: Seattle, USA)
This park and monument were built in 1990 to honor the late Floyd Schmoe. The pedestal for this life-size statue carries the following inscription: SADAKO SASAKI / PEACE CHILD / SHE GAVE US THE PAPER CRANE / TO SYMBOLIZE OUR YEARNING FOR / PEACE IN THE WORLD. / A GIFT TO THE PEOPLE OF SEATTLE
Children's Peace Statue
(Location: Santa Fe, USA, Children's Peace Statue / Kids' Committee, 1995)
Third, fourth, and fifth graders at Arroyo del Oso School in Albuquerque conducted a fund-raising campaign to build a sister statue to the Children's Peace Monument in Hiroshima. During their fundraising campaign, they received donations from 64 different countries. They completed the monument in 1995. The design involves a frame shaped like a globe of the world with the five continents covered by an abundance of plants and animals.
Sadako Peace Garden
(Location: Santa Barbara, USA)
On August 6, 1995 the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (an international education and advocacy organization focusing on issues of international peace and security) led a campaign to build this garden. In the garden stand large rocks with cranes carved in relief that honor all who work for peace and a world free from nuclear weapons.
The musical Birds of Peace--A Hiroshima Legacy
Only two musicals have been created in Japan. Overseas, six musicals have been created and performed in six countries: Netherlands, the Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the US. In English-language countries, most are educational theater pieces for youth that travel around to schools, etc.
CDs about Sadako
Following picture books and other reading materials, music is the next largest category of works about Sadako. In Japan 10 such pieces of music have been created. Ten pieces of music have been created in five other countries: Soviet Union (now, Russia), Mongolia, the US, Germany, and Australia.
|Paintings / Sculpture
Watercolor: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Sadako has been the theme of paintings and sculptures. This painting was done for the cover of Eleanor Coerr's picture book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.
|Memorial Days, Memorial Events,
In Japan 2, overseas 2, in the Soviet Union and the US.
| Ceremony in front of the Children's Peace Monument
On the third Sunday in July, elementary and junior high school students around Hiroshima City gather in front of the Children's Peace Monument and express their hopes for peace. The event is initiated every year by Nobori-cho Municipal Junior High School, which calls to other junior high schools in the city and solicits schools to join a steering committee schools. The event is run by junior high school students.
|Paper Crane Day
Nobori-cho Municipal Junior High School where Sadako was enrolled holds an annual peace gathering on the day of her death, October 25, which they call Paper Crane Day.
|Sadako Peace Day (USA)
On August 6, 1996, the mayor of Santa Barbara, California, declared August 6 to be Sadako Peace Day, a day to commemorate the loss of an innocent child's life as a result of the bombing of Hiroshima and to renew our pledge to prevent other children from being injured and killed as a result of war. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara holds a local peace event every year.
|The Prize in Memory of Four Little
Girls (Soviet Union)
The "Peace to the Children in the World" Association affiliated with the Soviet Committee for the Defense of Peace in 1988 established a creative writing award to commemorate "Four young girls who displayed great courage before meeting their remarkable and lamentable deaths." One of these four was Sadako Sasaki. The other three are Tanya Savicheva, Anne Frank, Samantha Smith. It is not known if this award program is still active.
|Paper Cranes from around the World to the Children's Peace Monument|
|People moved by the story of Sadako often put themselves in her place or that of her friends and fold paper cranes in which they invest their own hopes and prayers. To carefully fold a small piece of paper into one paper crane is quite difficult for people not used to the practice of origami. Then, after working so hard, they naturally want to share their feelings about the cranes and their joy of completion. Many feel quite strongly that they want to convey their feelings to Sadako in Hiroshima and wish to send their cranes to the Children's Peace Monument. Paper cranes come to this monument from all over Japan and all over the world. The paper cranes sent to the Children's Peace Monument help us estimate the extent to which the Sadako story is spreading.|
Number of Groups Sending Paper Cranes to the Peace Memorial Museum
|The Sadako World Map -
Paper Cranes Sent to Hiroshima and the Spreading of Sadako's Story
|Karl Bruckner's book has been published in 34 countries and regions, mostly in Europe. Eleanor Coerr's book has been published in 18 countries and regions throughout the world. It seems that many of those who fold paper cranes are inspired by books. Speaking broadly, in Europe both Bruckner and Coerr's book are well known. In other English-speaking countries and throughout Asia, it is usually Coerr's book that stimulates people to fold and send paper cranes. Based on the cranes sent to Hiroshima, the publication of these books, and other information, we have confirmed that, of 195 countries and regions, the Sadako story has spread to 52 (as of the end of May 2001).|
Countries and Regions that Know about Sadako and Paper Cranes
UAE, Israel, Iraq, Iran, India, Korea, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Bahrain, Malaysia, Mongolia, Jordan, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Brazil, Iceland, Ireland, UK, Italy, Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Hungary, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Belgium, Poland, Romania, Russia, Yugoslavia, South Africa
|The Feelings Invested in Sadako and Paper Cranes - from a survey of Japanese and Foreign Senders|
|The paper cranes offered to the Children's Peace Monument are often accompanied by letters or messages saying, in effect, "We were inspired by the story of Sadako." We decided to find out how Sadako was being conveyed, how her story is understood. To get answers to these questions we sent questionnaires to those who sent cranes. The subjects of the survey were the individuals, schools, and groups that sent paper cranes to Hiroshima in 1999 and 2000. Replies to those questionnaires follow.|
|The ratio of those who knew to those who didn't was 6:4. In other words, slightly more than half of those who sent paper cranes knew the Sadako story. Obviously, not everyone who sends cranes is doing so because of Sadako.||Almost everyone who sends paper cranes (more than 9 out of 10) knows about Sadako.|
|To those who knew the story
Nearly 75% of respondents failed to answer this question. Thus, most people seem not to know where they heard the story. Of those who know, most learned from others around them rather than from books. "Other" would include those who heard from books other than Bruckner, Coerr, or Nasu, or from TV/radio, movies or video.
| To those who knew the
About one person in three heard the story from an acquaintance. The total of those who learned about it from "peace education materials," Coerr, Bruckner, or Nasu's books amount to about half of the respondents. Most people seem to learn the story through these books. Of those who learned from books, most learned through Coerr's book. Most of the respondents were English speakers, and the results reflect the extent to which Coerr's book has spread through English-speaking countries.
|67 Summarizing the
Sadako and paper cranes are more tightly associated overseas than in Japan. Regardless of country or age, most people who learn about the story are moved by Sadako's singleminded desire to live, by the friendship among the children, and their strong desire for peace. The fact that the overall message of the story is the "desire for peace" is the primary reason it has received so much widespread sympathy. Non-Japanese tend to see the "courage to face hardship" in Sadako's continuing to fold paper cranes right to the end. She is praised because "In the face of a hopeless situation, suffering from an incurable disease, Sadako continued to do what she could right to the end."
|Various Efforts - from the Encounter with Sadako|
|In the hospital, Sadako folded cranes with the singleminded desire to live. After she died, the Children's Peace Monument was built. Books by Karl Bruckner, Eleanor Coerr and others depict the young girl who put her hopes in paper cranes, and these have spread her story around the world. At this point, this story has deeply touched a great many people. As the story spread throughout the world, Sadako has made a powerful appeal concerning the sanctity of life. She has become associated with "peace" which is a common and eternal human theme. Of those who encounter Sadako and accepted the message, some not only fold cranes themselves but also work to convey the message to others. Here we will present some efforts.|
| Hiroshima Paper Crane Club
This club was formed in 1958 stimulated by completion of the Children's Peace Monument. Mostly involving girls in elementary, junior high, and high school, the club visits hospitals, cleans monuments, and performs other related services.
|68 Escola Sadako
(Location: Barcelona, Spain)
This school was opened in 1968. It found in Sadako's perseverance in folding cranes the school's ideal of "courage to resist something unreasonable." This school offers grades K to 12 and has about 600 students. They learn about Sadako from Karl Bruckner's book.
| 69 World Peace Project for Children
(Location: Issaquah, US)
This was started when children's music artist Michiko Pumpian created a song on the theme of Sadako and visited Hiroshima in 1995. The project was founded two years later. It develops peace education materials related to Sadako and seeks to promote peace education through Sadako.
| 70 Student Association,
Nobori-cho Municipal Junior High School
In 2000, the students at Nobori-cho Junior High built a Paper Crane Monument in their schoolyard. In 2001, their "Peace to the World!" Committee completed and distributed a comic book depicting the life of Sadako.
| Thousand Cranes Peace Network
(Location: Canberra, Australia)
Mark Butz, who was moved by Karl Bruckner's book about Sadako in his youth, wanted to spread this story among the children of the world. In 1996 he and his wife launched the Million Paper Cranes for Peace by the year 2000 Project. The next year, they opened a homepage called the Thousand Cranes Network and worked to spread the message of paper cranes around the world by the Internet.
| 71 Kuwait University Peace Bird Project
Many children in Kuwait were suffering from emotional scars left by the Persian Gulf War. To heal the pain of these children and to teach the importance of peace and help them let go of hatred, the story of Sadako and paper cranes is taught in schools. The children who encountered Sadako wanted to spread the story and the peace cranes beyond their own country, so they visited Bahrain.
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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