15 Oct

Origami heroes: Sadako Sasaki

Sadako Sasaki (1943-1955)

Sadako Sasaki (1943-1955)

Making paperboats to demand better refugee rights may seem like a novel idea, but it is not new. Here’s a look at Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese origami hero

Every year on 6 August, Peace Day, people visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to place thousands of paper cranes around a golden statue of Sadako lifting up a huge paper crane with the following wish engraved on its base “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.”

Sadako Sasaki (7 January 1943-25 October 1955) was a Japanese girl who was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on 6 August 1945, near her home in Hiroshima, Japan. Sadako’s best friend came to the hospital to visit, and cut a golden piece of paper into a square to fold it into a paper crane, in reference to the ancient Japanese legend that promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish.

Sadako Sasaki died on 25 October 1955 at age 12 having folded 644 paper cranes, 356 cranes shy of her 1,000 crane goal. Her class mates and family folded the remaining cranes, and Sadako was she was buried with 1,000 cranes.