Wednesday, August 5, 2015

“I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world” - Sadako Sasaki

by aleks
8/5/215 - Sadako Sasaki sculpture in U-district: fresh 1000s cranes
I was on my way to visit Sadako Sasaki sculpture at U-district, for this 70th anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombing - I wanted to see if, like each year, people left origami cranes at her hands and feet, to say they remember...

The car radio was playing an interview with a Japanese woman who was only 6 when the bomb was dropped: in one instant she lost her whole family: parents and sisters.  She run away from the blast and although it probably saved her life, she said she feels guilty for running away, and that she will almost certainly feel that way for the rest of her life.  So much pain in her voice....

She said she used to never talk about it, but now feels she needs to help to record the memory of it, before people forget.  So she is giving public talks, and even came to America, where she found people listening very intently to her account...  She never talked about it to her own family, too difficult.

8/5/2015: asked to join,  i happily did
When I got to the sculpture, there was an activity there: some buddhist monks and people with anti-nuclear banners were assembling, and Sadako had plenty of fresh crane origami.

I was asked to take a pic of the group with their camera: they are marching  Sun. Jul.26 to Mon. Aug.10, 2015 from Salem-Portland-Hanford-Olympia-Seattle-Bainbridge Is.-Bangor...  They were hailing from the Bainbridge Island Myohoji temple, and a high-school teacher (who regularly brings her student to SJG) was teaching how to do origami crane on the spot.  She had some beautiful already folded cranes as gifts: I and other passer-bys got each one to take home - now it's in my kitchen, to remember Sadako really well.
gift of crane/bookmark
I received from the group

Then they kindly asked me to join them:  which I did happily, together with a few other people who were either passing by or came with intent of looking at Sadako...  People in inching-by cars (it was a rush hour) took pictures of our little gathering on their smartphones and I wondered how  much the current earth people know about the past and why we were standing there....  For a whole 10-20 minutes I was a part of a group that gathered together to keep the memory of Hiroshima/Nagasaki alive:  a very connecting and strangely powerful and happy feeling.

When i got home I found an email  from my lit/latin  professor in poland:  she wrote about reading in the paper about a 6 years old girl who survived Hiroshima, Toshiko Tanaki...  I pondered  if we came across the same story today...

Peace Park with Sadako and the Thousand Cranes sculpture is managed by Seattle Parks and Recreation at NE 40th St & NE Pacific St, Seattle, 98105 (NW corner of the University Bridge :

Peace Park was the dream of Dr. Floyd Schmoe, who after winning the Hiroshima Peace Prize in 1998 used the $5,000 prize money to clear a small lot near the University of Washington. From a pile of wrecked cars, garbage, and brush, he worked with community volunteers to build the beautiful Peace Park.

Peace Park is the current home of the Sadako and the Thousand Cranes sculpture, created in 1990 by artist Daryl Smith. The statue is a life-size bronze of Sadako Sasaki, the young Japanese girl who survived the Hiroshima bombing only to die of radiation sickness at age 12. [...]'


  1. Thank you for your beautiful and meaningful post, again.

  2. Beautiful story. Where does the Sasaki sculpture reside?

  3. Sadako's sculpture is at the NW corner of university bridge, in Peace Park - i added that info on the end of the post...