SADAKO SASAKI , was a true heroine . A 2 year old girl who was exposed to radiations from the atomic bombing and still managed to survive for about 13 years . A detailed write up on her :

Sadako Sasaki, was a Japanese girl who was born on January 7, 1943. She was at home at the time of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in World War 2 and was blown out of the window due to it. When her mother came to know this, she ran out to see if Sadako was fine and to her amazement she found her to be alive .

Sadako lived without any obstacle in her life for 9 years. But after that her mother found symptoms of leukemia in her and the doctors described it as a disease that was caused by radiation exposure. She developed swellings on her neck and behind her ears. After almost an year, purple spots had formed on her legs. For her treatment, she was hospitalized on February 21, 1955, at the age of 13. Doctors worked very hard to give her a life.

Since she was in the hospital for a long time, her friends started visiting her. On August 3, 1955, Sadako's best friend, Chizuko Hamamoto, came to the hospital for the same. She brought with her a piece of gold paper, cut it into a square and folded it into a paper crane. It was believed by the Japanese legend that one who created a thousand origami cranes would then be granted a wish by the Gods. Sadako started doing this job of folding 1000 paper cranes since she desired to be well again and to live.

During her time in the hospital her condition progressively worsened. Around mid-October her left leg became swollen and turned purple. She stopped eating anything and eventually became very weak. On the morning of October 25, 1955, as the age of 13 she passed away making only 644 paper cranes. Hence unfortunately, she was not able to complete her goal. Her failure had two reasons.
1. Though she had enough time to complete all 1000 cranes, she lacked paper. She collected it from the near-by patients and sometimes even used the medicine-wrappings for this purpose.
2. Following this, when she got enough paper for this work, she became very weak and pale, her body stopped working properly and she was not able to fold any more cranes.

Her friends and family helped finish her dream by folding the rest of the cranes, which were buried with Sadako. After her death, as a homage to her, her friends and schoolmates published a collection of letters in order to raise funds to build a memorial to her and to all the other children who had died from the effects of the atomic bomb. There is also a statue of her in the Seattle Peace Park. She also has a statue in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. "This is our cry. This is our prayer. For building peace in the world" - it is written at the foot of this statue. Every year on the Obon Day, thousands of people leave paper cranes near her statue. Her story is told in many Japanese schools on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. People all over Japan celebrate August 6 as Annual Peace Day.

She was truly a brave heart. Even at the time when suffering a lot, she wished to live. She had a strong desire to continue her life which gave her the power to fight against the disease as far as possible. Even though she passed away at a very young age, and is not with us today, she is still in the heart of every human being. We all know that she fought very bravely against this situation and thereby she motivates and inspires us to fight against every situation, be it difficult or easy. With due respect, I salute her bravery!



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Write up contributed by Ginni M.,SMS, India & Face, Andrew Dunn, 1990; Bottom Right, Taisyo



Sadako Sasaki's statue memorial