As a way of celebrating this date, I decided to finally learn how to make a Tsuru (Crane) Origami. I know how to make little airplanes and boats with paper, but it's the first time I tried to make something different. I used this great tutorial here and it was very easy! I admit it looks a little bit crooked and, as a matter of fact, it is far from perfect, but it's my first trial and I intend to practice more in the future - that is, if I can remember all the folding steps!
I recall hearing something about Tsurus once, and it basically said that if a person made a thousand of these Origami, he/she would be lucky for the rest of his/her days or would be granted a wish from the gods. Good huh? But it turns out that this story got famous with the occurrences of Sadako Sasaki's life.
Sadako was born in Hiroshima and was only two years old when the Americans launched the atomic bomb on the city . She lived far from the epicenter of the bomb and together with her mother and brother,they fled and were unharmed. But, during the flight, they were drenched by the black radioactive rain that fell on Hiroshima during that fateful day.
Resuming their lives after the war, Sadako and her family lived normally and she was a girl apparently healthy until completing twelve years of age . In January 1955 , during a physical education class, Sadako, who loved racing, felt sick and dizzy. The days passed and again the malaise caused her to fall to the ground, unconscious . Rescued and taken to a hospital, after a few days dark marks appeared on her body and she was diagnosed with leukemia, a disease that was killing other children that were als exposed to the pump. At the time leukemia was even called "atomic bomb disease". She was admitted in February 1955 , receiving predicting survival of only one year.
In August of that same year , her best friend Chizuko Hamamoto came to visit her in the hospital. Chizuko made a folding tsuru and presented Sadako , telling her the legend of the thousand origami tsurus . Sadako decided to make the thousand tsurus, wishing for her recovery. But the disease progressed rapidly and Sadako increasingly weakened, proceeded slowly folding the birds, without showing up angry and without surrendering.
At one point Sadako realized that his illness was the result of the war and more than wanting just her own healing , she wanted peace for all humanity, so that no child should suffer more wars. She said about tsurus : "I will write Peace on your wings and you will fly the whole world".
Finally, on the morning of 25 October 1955, Sadako made her last tsuru and died, supported by her family. She failed to complete the thousand origami, only making 644. But her example touched deeply her classmates and they bowed the tsurus missing to be buried with her. Sad and aware , colleagues decided to do something for Sadako and the many other children. They formed an association and began a campaign to build a memorial to Sadako and all the children killed and injured by the war. With donations from students around 3100 Japanese schools and nine more countries in 1958, was erected in Hiroshima the Monument of Children to Peace, also known as Tower of Tsurus in the Peace Park. The granite monument symbolizes Mount Horai, mythological site where Orientals believe that spirits live. At the top of the hill is the young Sadako holding a tsuru in her outstretched arms. At the base of the monument are engraved the words:
"This is our cry,
This is our prayer,
PEACE IN THE WORLD "
Every year, thousands and thousands of colorful paper tsurus are sent from all over Japan and the world, in a gesture of affection that also demonstrates the concern of children and their power to work for a just cause .