Before breakfast, Ellie found a longer chapter book version of Sadako
and the Thousand Paper Cranes in the library of our guesthouse. She
read it all through breakfast and finished it before we had arrived at
our 9:30am appointment with a volunteer English speaking tour guide,
so she was ready.
For those who do not know, Sadako is the true story of a girl who
survived the bombing of Hiroshima only to later become sick with
cancer from the radiation. She strongly believed the Japanese folklore
that it you fold 1,000 origami paper cranes, your wish will come true.
Sadako believed that if she could fold 1,000 cranes, she would get
well. She only made it to 678 before she died, but her classmates
continued folding cranes in her memory and later started a movement to
build the children's memorial in Peace Park. Children from around the
world send their folded cranes with their wishes for world peace.
Sadako is on the top of the monument and although she didn't survive,
her memory and determination have turned into a worldwide children's
So back to this morning, our tour guide walked us around the park,
highlighting monuments, significant locations, and answering our
questions. We then went through the museum and saw photos, films,
models, and artifacts of the bombing. We even got to see belongings of
Sadako that had been mentioned in the book.
At the end of the exhibits there were "dialogue books" were visitors
were invited to write their impressions. The books are saved at the
museum. Ellie wrote, "I made a paper crane here in honor of Sadako."