We caught the train back to Hiroshima and then a tram down to the A-Bomb Dome and Peace Park.
I remember a little yellow book in my primary school library all about Sadako, and a song that we sung in choir.
Sadako was two when the bomb exploded in 1945 and was diagnosed with leukemia at 10 years old. On her sickbed she started folding paper cranes spurred on by the Japanese saying that one who folded 1,000 cranes was granted a wish, by August 1955 she had reached her goal but she continued to fold cranes until her death in October 1955.
SADAKO FROM HIROSHIMA
1. She saw the Thunderbolt in the sky
like a million suns, it prickled her eyes;
she saw the Thunderbolt in the sky –
two years old, it prickled her eyes.
But now she sits making paper cranes,
paper cranes, paper cranes.
Now she sits making paper cranes – Sadako from Hiroshima.
2. She was a runner, swift and strong,
she was tall and slim and her legs were long;
she was a runner, swift and strong –
ten years old and her legs were long.
3. She went to hospital tired and weak,
it was hard to laugh, it was hard to speak.
she went to hospital tired and weak,
eleven years old, it was hard to speak.
And now she sits …
4. She lost the race that she wanted to win –
paper cranes couldn’t cover her with their wings,
cranes couldn’t cover her with their wings –
twelve years old and she wanted to win.
And now she lies with her …
5. This is our cry, this is our prayer,
“May the crane of peace fly everywhere!”
This is our cry, this is our prayer,
“Crane of peace fly everywhere!
A lovely Japanese man carrying his own DSLR offered to take this photo, it worked much better than at Fushimi Inari where a well meaning American lady carrying a little point and shoot offered to take one similar.
She was perplexed by the viewfinder, ahh how cameras have changed.
There were small groups of children running around talking to tourists and practising their (ever so polite) English.
They asked what our names are, where we were from, our favourite part of Japan, and if we had a message for the Japanese people. They had us write our answers on 1 side of a piece of paper and circle our home city on the world map printed on the other.
In exchange they gave us each one of these pink pieces of paper.
Craig has a photo on his camera of me with the Japanese school children. We are the same height.