Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Every summer since 2006 at Willowbrook Arts Camp I teach the campers to fold 1,000 paper cranes as prayers for world peace.  Since we have hundreds of campers every day, it has never been that big of a challenge to finish folding 1,000 paper cranes, but it's a good opportunity for me to promote peace, which is one of our missions of Willowbrook.  In the past I have had some of the campers or staff members deliver the cranes to Hiroshima Peace Memorial, but this year I was able to travel to Hiroshima to do that myself for the first time.  

In case you are not familiar about the story of 1,000 paper cranes, I'll tell you now in short.  There was a Japanese girl called Sadako who got exposed to the Hiroshima atomic bomb at the age of two and developed leukemia ten years later.  After hearing of a Japanese legend that promises anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish, Sadako started folding paper cranes at the hospital so she could have a wish to survive.  She eventually died, but her classmates built a monument for her and other Hiroshima children who died from the atomic bomb.  This story inspired people from all over the world, including us at Willowbrook, to contribute 1,000 in prayers for world peace.

There I was, at Children's Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.  There are glass stalls behind Sadako's monument where people hung paper cranes.


Our paper cranes are made of magazine paper.
Not as bright as some others but recycled material.

Here are some of other paper cranes that I saw in the stalls at the park.





"Praying that there will be a peaceful world
without wars or nuclear weapons"
By a grade school in Osaka.

After visiting the Children's Peace Monument, I toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.  It's hard to visit there without being emotional, but it is a must see.  There, I saw some of the actual paper cranes that Sadako folded.


Some are very tiny, and she used a needle to fold.