The Legend


Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Sadako and the thousand paper cranes 00.jpg
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Author(s) Eleanor Coerr
Original title サダコと千羽鶴 (Sadako to senbadzuru)
Illustrator George
Country United States
Language English
Subject(s) Sadako 1000 Paper Cranes
Genre(s) Children’s non-fiction literature
Publisher G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication date 1977
Media type Print (Paperback, Hardcover)
Pages 80
Preceded by Sadoko
Followed by Sasaki

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes  is a non-fiction children’s book written by American author Eleanor Coerr and published in 1977.

This true story is of a girl, Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bombing by the United States. She developed leukemia from the radiation and spent her time in a nursing home creating origami (folded paper) cranes in hope of making a thousand of them. She was inspired to do so by the Japanese legend that one who created a thousand origami cranes would be cured by the gods. Her wish was simply to live. However, she managed to fold only 644 cranes before she became too weak to fold any more, and died on 25 October 1955 in the morning. Her friends and family helped finish her dream by folding the rest of the cranes, which were buried with Sadako. They also built a statue of Sadako holding a giant golden origami crane in Hiroshima Peace Park.

Now every year on Obon Day, which is a holiday in Japan to remember the departed spirits of one’s ancestors, thousands of people leave paper cranes near the statue. On the statue is a plaque: “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth.”

The book has been translated to many languages and published in many places, to be used for peace education programs in primary schools. Sadako’s story was also dramatized at the opening ceremony of the Goodwill Games 1990 in Seattle wherein Seattle schoolchildren, working from the 644 cranes sent by Japanese schoolchildren, completed the unfinished 356 cranes for Sadako, and sent them aloft into the skies in honor of Sadako and world peace.

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