Sadako Sasaki And The Thousand Cranes
Sadako Sasaki (1943-1955) was a Japanese girl who got leukemia as result of radiation created by the atomic bomb (known also as „Little Boy“) that was dropped on Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945. At the time of the explosion Sadako was at home, about 1 mile from ground zero.
First symptoms of an illness (lumps on her neck and behind her ears) have appeared in November of 1954. In January of 1955 purple spots appeared on her legs. She was diagnosed with leukemia. She was hospitalized on the 21st of February 1955.
Sadako's best friend Chihuko Hamamoto visited her often. She encouraged Sadako to start making the thousand origami cranes.
The popular version of story, as presented in the book by Eleanor Coerr, is that Sadako manage to finish 644 cranes before the death. She died on the 25th of October 1955. The rest of cranes, until 1000, were made by her friends. She was buried with all 1000 cranes.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Sadako Sasaki, statue in Hiroshima
The statue of Sadako holding a golden crane in the Hiroshima Peace Park was unveiled in 1958. This monument is dedicated not only to Sadako but also to all the children died from the atomic bomb.
At the bottom of monument there is a text engraved -
"This is our cry, This is our prayer, Peace in the world".
Sadako's story exists as a film too. There is a Japanese film "Senba-zuru" or "Sadako Story", as it is known internationally. This 96 minutes long film, made in 1989, was directed by Seijirô Kôyama