LOS ANGELES -- A paper crane folded by Hiroshima atomic bombing victim Sadako Sasaki, the model for a child statue at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, is being donated to the Japanese American National Museum here.
A ceremony to welcome the decades-old origami crane was held on May 29, which was attended by Clifton Truman Daniel, 58-year-old grandson of former U.S. President Harry Truman who decided to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and Sadako's older brother, Masahiro, 74.
Sadako was exposed to radiation from the A-bomb at the age of 2 when it was dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. She was diagnosed with leukemia in 1955 and died in the same year at the age of 12. For eight months until her death, Sadako folded over 1,300 paper cranes in her hospital bed. Sadako's cranes are being displayed at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, where U.S. President Barack Obama donated four more origami cranes he had folded himself during his recent visit to Hiroshima.
Masahiro Sasaki and his 45-year-old son Yuji met Daniel in 2010. The three have been offering peace education at schools in the United States through the story of Sadako and her paper cranes. They are planning to set up a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles by the end of the year to spread Sadako's kindness and promote peace by facilitating communication among Japanese and American teachers.
"The mission of the paper crane is to pass down the importance of human lives and to get people to appreciate their being alive now," the elder Sasaki told the ceremony. Daniel said that it is necessary to learn about the stories of Sadako and other hibakusha (A-bomb victims and survivors) for the cause of peace.