People praying at the Children's Peace Memorail in Peace Park Hi
Haiku Japan Japan in Haiku Travel

Japan in Haiku 21: Peace Symbol

Peace Symbol

Not a pure white dove.
But a child’s bright paper crane.
Folded bird of hope.

One of the enduring symbols of Hiroshima is the coloured paper crane. It is now an international symbol of peace thank to a Japanese girl called Saddako Sasaki. She was two years old when the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima and ten years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia. In hospital she heard a Japanese legend that if you make 1000 paper cranes you can make a wish. She wished to live. But it wasn’t to be.

In Hiroshima’s Peace Park a permanent memorial depicts Saddako holding a gold crane. Meanwhile paper cranes still come in from all over the world, in solidarity with Saddako and calling for world peace. The cranes are counted and catalogued and then displayed in the park. A paper crane looks easy to make and we want to add our support. We try over lunch with five napkins and a Wiki page. But just like peace itself, while the goal is simple, achieving it is surprisingly difficult. The International Peace movement will have to wait for us to find a stationery shop and learn some basic origami.

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the creative force and chief poet in residence of poetinmotion.org She is available for residencies, as a conference poet and wedding poet. She is also co-founder of The Family Adventure Project and a regular contributor to many online travel communities.

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About Author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the creative force and chief poet in residence of poetinmotion.org She is available for residencies, as a conference poet and wedding poet. She is also co-founder of The Family Adventure Project and a regular contributor to many online travel communities.

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