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January, 30th

School day of Peace & Non-Violence

The Orizuru Story

Cranes are considered a symbol of “peace” and have long been considered to bring good fortune. The tradition dates back to the Heian Era (a period of approximately 400 years, when the capital was established in Kyoto).Over time, people started folding paper cranes and giving them away as a gesture to express their prayer for happiness or good luck.

Prayer through a thousand cranes

Now, it's your turn!!

Have you ever heard of Sadako Sasaki?

Orizuru as a symbol of peace

This true story led to the construction of the “Children’s Peace Monument” in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. At its base a plaque reads: This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world. Sadako wrote in her journal:

"I will write Peace on your wings and you will fly all around the world."

Every year, children from around the world fold cranes and send them to Hiroshima where they are placed around the statue. Sadako’s story spread across the world, and the orizuru became known as the “symbol of peace”.

Tragic ending


When she died she had folded 644 cranes. Her story had such a profound impact on her friends and classmates that they completed her thousand cranes and raised enough money to build a statue to honor Sadako and all the children affected by the bomb.

Today, in Hiroshima’s Peace Park, there is a statue of Sadako standing on top of a granite pedestal holding a golden crane in her outstretched arms.

Traditionally, it was believed that if one folded 1000 origami cranes, one’s wish would come true. When Sadako was in the hospital, she received an orizuru. Sadako started to fold paper cranes herself, using any type of paper she could find. When the paper was so small that it was too difficult to fold by hand, she used a needle. One by one, she would fold the orizuru with the desire to live, believing that when she folded one thousand paper cranes, she would make a full recovery.

In 1945 the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Many people became very sick years later with leukemia and other cancers. One such girl was named Sadako Sasaki. Sadako sustained no obvious injuries in the bombing. Ten years later, she began having medical complications. After a diagnosis of leukemia, called atomic bomb disease by some in Hiroshima, Sadako was hospitalized in 1955, she began to fold paper cranes.

It is Japanese legend that folding 1000 cranes so pleases the gods that the folder is granted a wish. Sadako wished to get well. So, after hearing the legend, Sadako decided to fold 1,000 cranes.