Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
by The MMA Team on December 8th, 2015

Okinawa Peace Park at Ottoman

With the recent happenings in Beirut, France, London and many other parts of the world, we thought this was an apt post to make. There can never be enough hope in the world and if we all hope for peace, maybe, just maybe, we may get it one day.
As part of our adult lounge, we have decided to make a piece of art that is solely dedicated to peace around the world. It has Buddha with the responsibility of peace on his shoulders and the open empty hands of Karate (we practice Wado Ryu - the Way of Peace) encaged by the barriers of everyday life.
This piece of art was inspired by the Okinawan Prefectural Peace Park in Ottoman which has an iconic white tower that can be seen f...or miles and inside it is a giant statue of Buddha. People from all over the world send messages of peace to this statue and they are usually in the form of folded origami paper cranes. Literally hundreds of thousands of them adorn the base of this impressive statue.

The inspiration of the paper crane representing world peace comes from the story of a young girl who was caught in the blast from the bombing of Hiroshima in World War II.
She later developed leukaemia from the radiation of the blast and ended up in hospital. Her best friend visited her in hospital and brings her golden origami paper and tells her of the legend of the 1000 cranes. Anyone who folds 1000 paper cranes will be granted a wish from the crane. She tells her to use it to get the wish of health.

The young girl starts folding the cranes and uses scraps of paper from around the hospital. She changes her mind about her wish at some point in her illness and wants to use the wish to wish for world peace instead.

She completes crane number 644 and this is the last crane she is able to make, and sadly she passes away on October 25th 1955 aged just 12.

At her funeral, her classmates surround her with 1000 paper cranes after folding the remaining 356 cranes and they are buried with her. Around the world she becomes a symbol of world peace.

The little girl is Sadako Sasaki and this is a summary of her story....

There have been many tributes to the memory of Sadako over the years, but the best known memorial to this brave young girl was created in 1958. There is a statue in memory of Sadako Sasaki at the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park in Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan. Sadako is holding a golden crane and there is a plaque with an inscription that says,

"This is our cry. This is our prayer. Building peace in the world."

If you are interested in the story of Sadako Sasaki, then you can read the book; Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

The statue of Sadako

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