Cranes for Peace

The 6th of August marked the 70th year since the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima which resulted in 40,000 deaths. One of the victims was Sadako Sasaki who was 2 years old when the bomb fell and though she survived the attack, she succumbed to leukemia at the age of 12 as a result of exposure to radiation. During her hospitalisation, she remembered the Japanese myth that upon folding a thousand origami cranes one is granted a wish and in her struggle to stay alive she started folding cranes from medicine wrappers and anything she could find, with some being so small she had to fold them with a needle. She passed away in 1955 and three years later a monument was built in Hiroshima’s Peace Park to remember all the children that died as a result of the bomb. At the top of the monument is a statue of a young girl with a crane and around it are glass cases which display thousands of paper cranes made and donated by people from around the world praying for peace.

It is two years since I got married and as we had initially intended to honeymoon in Japan, I asked my wedding guests to indulge in the Japanese tradition of making paper cranes to bring good luck and prosperity to the marriage. My mother took this to heart and made 1000 paper cranes pretty much singlehandedly! So our wedding venue was festooned with these lovely paper creations, which were all taken down carefully and have been stored since then. I wanted to do something special with them so the 70th anniversary seemed the perfect opportunity to put them to good use. So at the end of July all but a handful of my favourite wedding cranes were flown out with other English donations to Hiroshima and hand delivered to the Peace Park.