Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr, is a children’s book that is both heart breaking and important to read. Sadako Sasaki was a twelve year old Japanese girl that developed leukemia as a result of being exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
The crane is a symbol of longevity in Japan, and it is popularly represented in origami form. Legend says that the person who folds a thousand cranes will be granted a wish. It was with this in mind that Sadako began folding cranes, in the hopes of getting well when she reached a thousand. Sources disagree whether or not she made one thousand cranes, but Sadako eventually succumbed to her disease in 1955.
Today Sadako and her paper cranes are symbols of world peace. Japan remembers August 6th, the anniversary of the bomb dropping, as Peace Day.
Folding a paper crane can be the beginning of your collection of a thousand, a thoughtful little gift, or a tribute to peace.
Here is a YouTube How To and below are some fine Etsy origami items: