Marking the Memorial Day of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima, New York-Area Families Discover Symbol of Peace, Sadako Sasaki

Sadako & 1,000 Cranes Storytelling & Origami Crane Making

3 Sessions: Saturday, August 7, 2010 at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center


New York, NY – Japan Society's Education Program and the Tribute WTC Visitor Center present Sadako & 1,000 Cranes Storytelling & Origami Crane Making. Children and families discover through storytelling Sadako Sasaki, a legendary girl who inspired generations of children by folding paper cranes while battling illness caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. For this second annual event, storytellers present a brand-new children’s book on Sadako in Japanese created in cooperation with the Sasaki family and a kamishibai story about Sadako in English created by Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) along with a widely read children's book on Sadako. Participants learn to make a chain of 2-4 paper cranes out of a single sheet of origami paper, and children have an opportunity to view one of Sadako’s original cranes which was donated to the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. (Content is subject to change.)

Marking Hiroshima's annual August 6th A-bomb memorial, this event takes place Saturday, August 7 at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. Recommended for Pre-K and elementary school children, their accompanying adults, and K-6 educators and librarians, the program is presented in English and Japanese.

Schedule: 11:00 am, Session I, storytelling in Japanese; 11:30 am, Origami crane-making session in both English and Japanese; Noon, Session II, kamishibai storytelling in English.

According to Japanese legend, anyone who could fold 1,000 paper cranes would be granted a wish. In 1955, 12-year-old Sadako Sasaki folded 1,000 paper cranes while critically ill from the long-term effects of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, rallying much of Japan around the anti-nuclear movement. Widely taught in American elementary school classrooms, her tale continues to inspire and shape American and Japanese memories of the atomic bomb, and a chain of 1,000 paper cranes has become an international symbol of peace.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., small chains of cranes were left on a fence at Broadway and Liberty Street, which are now on permanent display at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. Additional chains of 10,000 cranes, which were made by families and colleagues of the attack victims in Japan, were added to the display.

With most of Sadako's original 1,000 paper cranes donated to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan, the surviving Sasaki family kept five paper cranes, and, as a call for international peace, donated each one of the five cranes to five continents beyond Japan. In September 2007, Sadako’s older bother Masahiro Sasaki made his first visit to New York City to donate one of Sadako's original paper cranes to the Tribute Center.

Related Content: Tribute WTC Visitor Center offers free online educational material using interviews of Mr. Sasaki and Mr. Ito provided by Japan Society: (unit: Globalizing Peace).

Related Content: Video of Mr. Masahiro Sasaki (Sadako Sasaki’s brother) and Mr. Tsugio Ito talking to Japan Society's 2009 Educators’ Study Tour participants:

Tribute WTC Visitor Center offers visitors to the World Trade Center site a place where they can connect with people from the September 11th community. Through walking tours, exhibits and programs, the Tribute WTC Visitor Center offers "Person to Person History," linking visitors who want to understand and appreciate these historic events with those who experienced them. Tribute WTC Visitor Center is a project of the September 11th Families' Association. The Tribute Center welcomes over 300,000 visitors annually. More at

Japan Society's Education Program offers programming for teachers and students, including teacher seminars, educators’ study tours, curricula development, school partnerships, and activities for students and school groups. Created in collaboration between Japan Studies specialists, professors of education, K-12 teachers and Japan Society staff, About Japan: A Teacher's Resource ( is an interactive website with lesson plans, annotated hands-on material for in-class use, maps, reviews and a glossary of key terms. In addition, further programs for families introduce children to diverse aspects of Japanese culture through entertaining and educational events.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society has evolved into a world-class, multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan. More at

Sadako & 1,000 Cranes Storytelling & Origami Crane Making takes place Saturday, August 7, with three half-hour sessions beginning at 11:00 am. The Tribute WTC Visitor's Center is located at 120 Liberty Street. Admission is waived for participants during the program. Registration is not required. For more information, call Japan Society at 212-715-1275 or Tribute WTC Visitor Center at 212-393-9160.

Japan Society's education programs are made possible by generous funding from The Freeman Foundation. Generous support for Education Programs is provided by Continental Airlines. Additional support is provided by The Norinchukin Foundation, Inc., Chris A. Wachenheim, Joshua N. Solomon, Jon T. Hutcheson, Lesley Nan Haberman, Joshua S. Levine and Nozomi Terao. Student and Family Programs are supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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Media Contacts:

Shannon Jowett
Japan Society
T: 212-715-1205
F: 212-715-1262

Kuniko Shiobara
Japan Society
T: 212-715-1249
F: 212-715-1262

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