Efforts Underway to Make A-Bombed Girl's "Orizuru" into UNESCO List

Society Culture

Tokyo, Feb. 18 (Jiji Press)--Relatives of Sadako Sasaki, a hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivor, who continued to make paper cranes until her death at age 12, are stepping up efforts for the addition of the paper craft to the list of items under UNESCO's Memory of the World program.

They aim to submit an application in 2024 to get the paper cranes included in the list in 2025.

"We may be able to stop the war if people can connect with each other with compassion through her orizuru," Masahiro Sasaki, the 81-year-old brother of Sadako, the model for the Children's Peace Monument in the Peace Memorial Park in the western Japan city of Hiroshima, said, referring to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which started a year ago.

Hiroshima was devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, in the closing days of World War II. Sadako, then 2 years old, was exposed to radiation from the bomb while she was at her home in the Hiroshima Prefecture capital. Sadako developed leukemia 10 years later and died although she continued folding paper cranes at hospital, wishing for her recovery.

Yuji Sasaki, Masahiro's 52-year-old second son, who serves as deputy chief of Sadako Legacy, a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization, said that efforts are underway for Memory of the World registration for the paper cranes and other items including Sadako's handwritten notes on her blood test results and her medical records.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press