Picture Books about Sadako Sasaki
About This Project
The Children's Peace Monument was established in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in memory of Sadako Sasaki and all children affected by the atomic bomb. Sadako experienced the atomic bombing at the age of two and died when she was 12, a victim of leukemia that resulted from her exposure to the A-bomb radiation. After her death, her junior high school classmates, along with children from many other schools in Hiroshima, launched a nationwide campaign to collect donations to raise this monument.
“Paper Crane Journey” is a picture book that tells the story of Sadako and the children whose efforts led to the Children’s Peace Monument. To date, ANT-Hiroshima has translated the original Japanese version of the book into 22 languages, including English, Chinese, Korean, Dari, Nepalese, Tagalog, and many more. These books are then donated to schools and organizations in countries around the world. Our aim is to convey the courage and hope demonstrated by the children in the book to children now suffering in situations of conflict or natural disaster. In addition, we hope the book can help spread the message that nuclear weapons must never again be used anywhere on earth. “Paper Crane Journey” was written by Shiho Umino, illustrated by Fukiko Kanou, and published by PHP Kenkyujo.
ANT-Hiroshima has also produced and published the book “Sadako's Prayer,” written and illustrated by Fauzia Minallah, a Pakistani artist. The book is currently available in several languages, including English, Urdu, Dari, and Pashto. Copies of “Sadako's Prayer” are donated to schools and organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they are read aloud to children.
How This Work Began
An Afghan girl named Afifa visited Hiroshima in October 2003 with Nurula Saifi, a film director. She had appeared in the movie I Love Peace, a movie about a Japanese woman who crafts artificial legs for people wounded by landmines in Afghanistan. The film was directed by Yutaka Osawa and screened in Hiroshima in 2004.
During her visit to the city, ANT-Hiroshima Executive Director Tomoko Watanabe guided Afifa through Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. When Tomoko told Afifa and Mr. Saifi about the Children's Peace Monument and “Paper Crane Journey,” they became tearful and said, "Sadako is like the children in Afghanistan." They asked Tomoko for copies of the book to show to children there.
Because of copyright concerns, ANT-Hiroshima was unable to publish translated versions of the book, but the publisher allowed stickers with Dari text to be affixed on top of the original Japanese pages. Three hundred copies with this translated text were then donated to schools in Afghanistan.
Since that time, we have translated the story into many other languages, pasted the translated text into the books, and sent these translated copies to many parts of the world.