Sadako Sasaki was born on January 7, 1943 in Hiroshima, Japan. She was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped, was later diagnosed with leukemia, she died on October 25, 1955 at the age of 12. Prior to her passing, Sadako diligently folded paper cranes or “orizuru,” based on a Japanese legend that if a sick person folds a thousand cranes, her wish would be granted. A monument dedicated to her memory and as a memorial to all of the children who had died from the effects of the atomic bomb was erected in Hiroshima Peace Park. Today, the origami crane has become an international symbol of peace, and people, throughout the world, continue to fold paper cranes with the hope of peace.
Sadako’s brother, Masahiro Sasaki, gifted a paper crane to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at the USS Arizona Memorial (Pearl Harbor). To support the permanent exhibition of Sadako Crane, Hiroshima-Hawaii Sister State Committee, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii organized a fundraising committee and raised over $69,000. This project was chaired by Wayne Miyao, Past Chair of HJCC, Chairman, Hiroshima-Hawaii Sister State Committee, Carole Hayashino, President/Executive Director, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and Alton Miyamoto, President, Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.
The ceremony opened with a Taiko performance by Pacific Buddhist Academy and included opening remarks by Daniel Martinez, Chief Historian of WWII Valor in the PacificNational Monument at Pearl Harbor, blessing by Bishop Eric Matsumoto of Honpa Hongwangji and Kahu Kauila Clark and a message by USS Arizona Survivor, Lauren Bruner.
Sadako’s brother Masahiro Sasaki thanked everyone for their support. He hopes that the presence of the paper crane made by an atomic bombing victim will mean the spiritual end of war between Japan and US. Yuji Sasaki, Sadako’s nephew sang a song “Inori” for recollection of Sadako.
The ceremony ended with a blessing and unveiling of the new exhibition. It includes a graphic panel to share Sadako’s story, the significance of the origami crane and her hope for peace.
The ceremony will be aired on Olelo Network on:
October 28, 2013 3 PM Channel 49
October 29, 2013 11 PM Channel 49
October 30, 2013 6 PM Channel 55
October 31, 2013 8 AM Channel 55
Photos courtesy of Hawaii Pacific Press.