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  • Date :
  • 1/5/2005

Sadako Sasaki

(January 7, 1943 – October 25, 1955)

Sadako Sasaki is Japanese girl. She lived in her home near Misasa Bridge in Hiroshima. She was two years old when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. As she grew up, Sadako was a strong, courageous and athletic girl. In 1954, at age 11, while practicing for a big race, she became dizzy and fell to the ground. Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia, the "atom bomb disease".

Sadako's best friend told her of an old Japanese legend which said that anyone who folds a thousand origami paper cranes would be granted a wish. Sadako hoped that the gods would grant her a wish to get well so that she could run again. She spent fourteen months in the hospital, and she folded 644 paper cranes before dying at the age of twelve. She folded the cranes out of her medicine bottle wrappers and any other paper she could find in hopes of getting better. Her classmates folded an additional 356 cranes for a total of one thousand, all of which were buried with her.

After her death, her friends and schoolmates published a collection of letters to raise funds to build a memorial to her and all of the children who died from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. It was also a popular cause for children and others in Japan. In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Park. There is also a statue of her in the Seattle Peace Park. Sadako has become a leading symbol of the impact of a nuclear war.

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