Many consider this the most profound memorial in Peace Memorial Park. The figure is of Sadako, a 10-year-old girl who developed leukemia as a result of exposure to the atomic radiation that lingered long after the blast. She believed that if she could fold 1,000 paper senbazuru (cranes)—a Japanese symbol of good fortune and longevity—her illness would be cured. She died before finishing the thousand, and it is said that her schoolmates finished the job for her.
Her story has become a folktale of sorts, and it inspired a nationwide paper crane–folding effort among schoolchildren that continues to this day. The colorful chains of paper cranes—delivered daily from schools all over the world—are visually and emotionally striking.
Heiwa Kinen Koen, Hiroshima, Hiroshima-ken, 730-0811, Japan