Symbolized by a thousand crane birds and a young girl in the city of Hiroshima, Japan, the Children’s Peace Monument symbolizes the horrific marks of a world war, the resistance to suffering, and the trauma experienced.
Children’s Peace Monument is a monument erected in memory of thousands of children and Sadako Sasaki, who died as a result of an atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima.
On the morning of August 6, 1945, the US bomber Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb of history on Hiroshima, nicknamed Little Boy. The 2-year-old girl Sadako Sasaki survived the bombing. However, 10 years later, the effect of the nuclear bomb was cancer. She was hospitalized. Sadako, who believed she would recover if she’d made 1000 origami crane figures according to an old Japanese belief, talked to each figure she had made, “I will write peace on your wings, so you can fly all over the world.” However, the life of Sadako was not long enough to complete building 1000 cranes. She died when she was done making 644 crane birds. The remaining 356 birds were completed by her friends and all the birds were buried with her.
Not only Japan, but the whole world was affected by Sadako’s story. Local artist Kazuo Kikuchi and Kiyoshi Ikebe designed the monument, and the monument was materialized by the fundraiser organized by Japanese students including Sadako’s friends. It was opened with the title “Atomic Bomb Children Statue” on May 5, 1958.
Sadako who stands on top the statue holding a crane bird in her hands was immortalized. The surroundings of the statue are filled with crane models sent from all over the world every day. These models express the common wish of the children, who sent them from around the world and who visited the statue, which is a world where no wars exist. A bronze crane bird takes place underneath the main structure. A pleasant chime sound is heard when this bronze bird is pushed towards the peace bell. These two pieces were donated by the Nobel prize winner physicist Hideki Yukawa.