Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Atomic bomb use on Hiroshima, Nagasaki to be remembered by Kalamazoo group / One Thousand Paper Cranes: Sadako Sasaki.

1000 Cranes For Japan:  Sadako Sasaki.

The child that inspired peace in the World



Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945

It was a terrible time of war when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, especially for Sadako Sasaki. The young girl wasn't near Hiroshima at the time, but the effects of the atom bomb spread throughout the country and into surrounding towns, and she caught radiation sickness.
When she was 11, in the middle of a track and field race, Sadako felt the first effects. She became more and more limp each day. Her best friend, Chizuko Hamamoto, recalled that one day she told Sasaki, "Don't you remember the story that if you fold 1000 paper cranes the gods will grant a wish and make it come true?" Hamamoto then folded a gold-colored piece of paper over and over into a beautiful golden crane. She handed the crane to Sadako and said, "Here's your first one."


Sasaki knew that folding paper cranes wasn't as easy as it looked, but in the days after her friend showed her the correct way, she started folding as many as she could. A couple of months later, she met a boy in the hospital who also had radiation sickness. Sasaki tried to convince him of the power of the paper crane story, but he said, "The gods can't help me now; I know I'll die tomorrow." That night the boy died. Sasaki was very worried that she would die too.
Two months later, Sasaki received a kimono with cherry blossoms on it, made out of the finest silk by her mother. Sasaki said, "Mom, you did too much for me." Her mother asked her to put on the kimono, calling her "Sadako-chan" anyway. Days later, the doctor said her health was improving and she could go home for a couple of days.

The true picture of Sadako Sasaki. With her cherry blossom kimono, age 12

Sadako Sasaki only managed to fold 644 cranes before she died on October 25, 1955; she was twelve year old. Her classmates finished folding the 1,000 cranes in her honor. That same day, millions of paper cranes came from all over the country; the people of Japan had herd her story. Her friends thought of building a monument of Sadako holding a golden crane in her hand. In 1958 the statue was built in the Hiroshima Peace Park. The writing on the base of the statue says, "This is our cry, this is our prayer; peace in the world." 

Since then, school children go to Sadako's statue year after year and take many Senbadsuru (1000 paper cranes held together with strings) in hopes of bringing world peace. 

Sadako Sasaki (January 7, 1943 – October 25, 1955)
Statue of Sasako. At Hiroshima Peace Memorail




Atomic bomb use on Hiroshima, Nagasaki to be remembered by Kalamazoo group

By MLive Staff
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on August 04, 2013 at 9:15 AM, updated August 04, 2013 at 11:06 AM

KALAMAZOO, MI — The Kalamazoo Non-violent Opponents to War will commemorate the 68th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Tuesday, Aug. 6 and Friday, Aug. 9.

KNOW began a tradition of marking these dates by demonstrating last year on Aug. 6th, at the Air Zoo when the last flying B-29 Bomber, "Fifi," flew into town. It was the same kind of plane used to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

KNOW is dedicated to the cause of creating better ways of solving conflicts than through the use of military force. As we have seen since World War II, the United States has paid dearly with our blood and treasure as well as a decline in our international reputation for its thoughtless use of our military.

On Friday, Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the parlor of the First United Methodist Church on 212 S. Park St., the group will have a second event, with Jerry Mechtenberg-Berrigan of the Catholic Worker Peacehouse speaking.

Afterward, the movie "White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," will be shown. It is an HBO documentary film that was directed and produced by Steven Okazaki and was released on Aug. 6, 2007, marking the 62nd anniversary of the first atomic bombing.
The film features interviews with 14 Japanese survivors and four Americans involved in the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A discussion will follow the showing the movie.