VE and VJ day
The image of a crane has become an important symbol of Peace.
VJ Day or “Victory over Japan” day on 15 August marks the end of World War Two.
The reason that the crane has come to symbolise the innocent victims of the atomic bombs is because of the story of a young Japanese girl, named Sadako Sasaki.
Sadako was just two years old when the first bomb landed on her home city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Though she survived the initial attack, by late 1954 she was suffering from Leukaemia, known as “atomic bomb disease” which was caused by the nuclear radiation.
Sadako believed in a Japanese legend that if she folded one thousand paper Origami cranes then she would be granted a wish, and as a result she folded hundreds while she was being treated in hospital.
Over the next year she folded well over a thousand, but her wish to recover was not granted, and she passed away, aged just twelve, on 25 October 1955.
After her death, Sadako was memorialised by her classmates, and a Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial National park was unveiled in her honour in 1958.
The memory of Sadako became intertwined with the cranes she folded and consequently, in the statue, she holds a large golden crane and there is an inscription written by her classmates: “This is our cry, this is our prayer, peace in the world.”
Since 1958, around the memorial thousands of Origami cranes have also been offered by those who wish for a world of peace.
For 2020, we would like to join in a project initiated by our friends in Thetford to celebrate new friendships between Norfolk and Japan, reflecting all our shared hopes for friendship and peace.
We want to hear your wishes for peace. We ask that you write your wish on a square piece of paper and fold it into a crane. You can send it or drop it in to Stories of Lynn, where our “swoop of cranes” will be displayed before being sent to Ancient House Museum, Thetford, to be part of their VJ Day installation of, hopefully, 1000 cranes.
Click on the downloads section to print off your own paper crane, don’t forget to write your wish inside, and maybe even decorate it.
Follow this online guide to folding your peace crane:
There is also a video guide here: