Sadako Sasaki

From Academic Kids

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Sadako Sasaki memorial in Hiroshima, surrounded by paper cranes

Sadako Sasaki (Japanese:佐々木 禎子 Sasaki Sadako, January 7, 1943October 25, 1955) was a Japanese girl who lived near Misasa Bridge in Hiroshima, Japan. She was only two years old when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. As she grew up, Sadako was a strong, courageous and athletic girl. In 1954, at age eleven, while practicing for a big race, she became dizzy and fell to the ground. Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia, the "atom bomb disease".

Sadako's best friend told her of an old Japanese legend which said that anyone who folds a thousand origami paper cranes would be granted a wish. Sadako hoped that the gods would grant her a wish to get well so that she could run again. She spent fourteen months in the hospital, and she folded over 1,300 paper cranes before dying at the age of twelve. She folded the cranes out of her medicine bottle wrappers and any other paper she could find in hopes of getting better. (A popular version of the story is that she fell short of her goal of folding 1,000 cranes, having folded only 644 before her death, and that her friends completed the 1,000 and buried them all with her.)

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Japanese school children dedicate their contribution of origami cranes at the Sadako memorial in Hiroshima.

After her death, her friends and schoolmates published a collection of letters to raise funds to build a memorial to her and all of the children who died from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. It was also a popular cause for children and others in Japan. In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. There is also a statue of her in the Seattle Peace Park. Sadako has become a leading symbol of the impact of a nuclear war.

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Every day more cranes arrive at the memorial from school children all over the world in the hope for peace.

External links

fr:Sadako Sasaki ja:佐々木禎子 th:ซาซากิ ซาดาโกะ

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