Chains of paper cranes left by visitors to the Sadako Peace Memorial in Hiroshima (seen through the roof). Via
Sadako's story became a touchstone for the anti-nuclear movement throughout Japan and is well known throughout the world to this day. In 1958, a memorial in her honor and in tribute to all the children that died as a result of the bombing, was unveiled at Hiroshima, where visitors still leave chains of paper cranes.
This tradition was brought to the U.S. in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Small chains of cranes were left on and near a fence at Broadway and Liberty Street near Ground Zero. These chains are now on permanent display at the Tribute WTC Visitor’s Center, alongside one of Sadako’s own cranes from 1955 which was donated by her family. In an event last year at Japan Society, Masahiro Sasaki, Sadako’s brother, said "Commonly in Japan, the crane is regarded as a symbol of peace. But for us, in the Sasaki family, it is the embodiment of Sadako's life, and it is filled with her wish and hope."
Three of Sadako's original cranes, one of which can be viewed at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. Photo: Kazuko Minamoto
Marking the August 6th Hiroshima A-Bomb Memorial, Japan Society and the Tribute WTC Visitor Center present Sadako & 1000 Cranes Storytelling & Origami Crane Making. Children and families discover Sadako’s inspiring story through kamishibai, traditional Japanese paper-storytelling [check out this example from 1959]. There are two storytelling sessions. The first is in Japanese, featuring a new storybook created in cooperation with Sadako’s family. The second is a new English kamishibai version. Participants also learn to make a paper-crane chain of their own–including how to make 2-4 cranes out of one piece of paper
The event starts at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center (directions here) at 11:00 am with storytelling in Japanese. Then at 11:30, a bilingual origami crane-making session will be held, with the storytelling in English at Noon.