|The book "Paper Crane Journey" in English and a remake by Fauzia from Pakistan|
During WWI until WWII, Hiroshima was the focal point of military activities but everything change after the atomic bomb was dropped by the U.S army in 1945 which caused major destruction. Many local residents died and the rest of them suffering from the effect of the radiation.
If you travel, study or live in Hiroshima, you will be told about this story over and over again but honestly I never feel bored listening to them. During my stay, I regularly went to Peace Memorial Park at least 3 times in a week. The place will be always crowded with local people, high school students and tourist.
|the statue of Sadako Sasaki built by her school friends|
One of the story that will be told to you is about a girl named Sadako Sasaki. Truthfully, before I came to Hiroshima, the only Sadako that I knew is the one in the Japanese movie called "The Ring". Until one day, my friend, Khavi roughly told me about this Sadako.
Sadako was only 2 years old when the atomic bomb was dropped. She was found alive by his mother but in 1954, she was diagnosed by leukemia which was caused by the radiation exposure (during that time, an increase leukemia observed especially among children). During her time in hospital, lot of her friends came and one of her friend Chizuko Hamamoto, cut a gold piece of paper into a square to fold it into a paper crane, in reference to the ancient Japanese story that promises that anyone who fold thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. Unfortunately, on October 25th, 1955 at the age of 12, she died. Her story is inspirational and is known all over the world.
After her death, the paper cranes became a symbol that representing peace. At the park you will see lot of paper cranes hanging on that area varies in sizes and colours.
|you can find this booth in Peace Memorial Park area|
|the one that i got from my volunteer tourist guide|
|on the left; the city hall structure|
|the beauty of paper cranes|
If you interesting to translate the book into your language, you can contact Tomoko Watanabe-san for more information. She is the president of ANT-Hiroshima, the non-profit organization that actively involved with the volunteer activities. She is an enthuasiasm person and speaks english very well. :) The book has been translated into Chinese and a remake version has been done by Fauzia Aziz Minallah, a Pakistani artist, author and illustrator of children's books.