Sadako Sasaki was a young and vibrant girl of 12 when leukemia, most likely caused by exposure to the atom bomb dropped on her city at the end of World War II, took her life.
As many people in Japan do, Sadako learned to fold paper cranes, and believed that folding cranes might lead to the granting of a wish, and freedom from the dreaded illness that was slowly taking her life. Sadako did not fold cranes for political or religious reasons. She did not, as many stories of her life claim, fall short of her goal of folding 1,000 cranes. Many retellings of Sadako’s life came to include these fictional elements, serving the purpose of political or religious movements or bolstering the author’s desire for a more uplifting ending to Sadako’s life.
Sadako’s story is the story of thousands of children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many suffered and died at the time of the bombings and in the decades that followed. While it was Sadako who became an icon to many, and symbol of the horrors of war, we are dedicated to all those who suffered, and to those who keep the lessons of history in their minds and the dreams of a peaceful planet in their hearts.
Every year, the Peace Crane Project folds cranes with attendees of Sadako Peace Day in Montecito, California. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation holds this event to remember the story of Sadako and pay tribute to the victims of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The event takes place each year on or around August 6 at the Sadako Peace Garden on the grounds of La Casa De Maria Retreat Center in Montecito, California. Follow us on Facebook, or sign up for our newsletter to be alerted to the exact date and time this year.
We encourage you to exchange peace cranes each year during the month of August, and host your own folding events. The Peace Crane Project encourages groups of all sizes to sign up for our exchange list, and unite with one another in the vision of a nuclear weapon free world.