Gift of a Thousand Cranes Senbazuru
The History of One Thousand Paper Cranes:
Sadako Sasaki’s Story
Sadako Sasaki was exposed to nuclear radiation when she was 2 years old, at her home, two kilometers north of the explosion ground in Hiroshima. A few years later, in February 1955, she was diagnosed with lymphatic gland leukemia, and was hospitalized in Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital. There, using various kinds of paper,such as gift or medicine wrapping paper, she started to make origami cranes, believing that if she could fold all of one thousand cranes, her hope will come true. Sadako died of radiation sickness on October 25, 1955, aged 12 years old.By the time she finally succumbed to her illness, Sadako had only managed to complete 644 cranes, but knowing her story, her classmates brought up by their own hands the total to a thousand cranes, all of which were then buried with her remains. Senba-Zuru (meaning “a thousand origami cranes”) is believed to be a symbol for peace.