I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world.
Sadako Sasaki (1943-55)
Sadako Sasaki was two years old and lived one mile from ground zero when the American military dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. In late 1954 she developed health problems related to her radiation exposure. In the first part of 1955 she was diagnosed with leukemia and given one year to live.
According to Japanese tradition, if you fold one thousand origami cranes, the cranes will grant you your heart's desire. While in the hospital, Sadako decided to fold the cranes and ask for her health to be restored. Using whatever paper she could find, she folded over one thousand cranes before she died in October.
After her death, friends and classmates dreamed of building a monument in honor of all the children who died because of the Hiroshima bombing. In 1958, that dream became a reality when a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in Hiroshima Peace Park. The plaque at the bottom of the monument reads: This is our cry, This is our prayer, Peace in the world.
A pair of cranes. Yūhi. Middle Edo period.