16 Children's Peace Monument
May 5, 1958 (Children's Day)
Established by :
The Hiroshima Society of School Children for Building World Peace
Sadako Sasaki was exposed to the bombing at age two, contracted leukemia ten years later and died. Shocked by her death, her classmates put out a national call to "build a monument to mourn all the children who died from the atomic bombing." With the support of students in more than 3,100 schools around Japan and in nine other countries, including England, the Society was able to build this bronze statue that stands nine meters high.
On the top of the three-legged pedestal stands the bronze figure of a girl holding up a gold-colored "folded" crane. On opposite sides of the pedestal are suspended boy and girl figures symbolizing a bright future and hope. On the stone underneath the pedestal is inscribed, "This is our cry. This is our prayer. For building peace in this world."
The monument was created by Kazuo Kikuchi, then a professor of Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. A gold crane modeled after an ancient bronze bell initially hung under a bell inside the tower. This piece was contributed by Dr. Hideki Yukawa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, who was much moved by the feelings of the children. It was made as a wind chime. (At present, the bell and golden crane are exhibited in the first-floor lobby of the East Building of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.)