1000 Cranes for Japan

March 19, 2011 · Posted in Blog 

Dear Reader

I attach a flier which has suggestions for how school children may respond to the Japan emergency.  I taught in Japan for a year many years ago, in a county called Toyama, on the west coast of the central Honshu island. Tragically, a whole class of children from Toyama were killed when they were visiting Christchurch, New Zealand in the earthquake a few weeks ago.  Of course this is now overshadowed by the scale of the greater disaster that has befallen Japan.

My year in Japan was part of a cultural project to bridge our countries and encourage friendship between our peoples, and at the end of it I made a commitment to be a friendly envoy for Toyama county and the people of Japan.  In the light of the disasters that have befallen that people I, and my wife who also taught in Japan,  have decided to try to encourage schools to do something.

The flier has a couple of suggestions, one of which is to encourage the act of making origami cranes, which is a tradition that every Japanese school child learns and participates in.  It is linked with the story of Sadako Sasaki, the girl who wanted to make a thousand cranes as an act of peace after the dropping of the atomic bomb.  In Japanese tradition a crane lived for a thousand years and it was said that if you made a thousand cranes your wish would come true.  Sadako wished for a nuclear free world of peace.  She died of leukemia, from the bomb, before she finished her task so her school friends finished it for her.  Now every school in Japan participates in this act of peace in her memory and in the hope of peace.

I would like to inspire some schools in England to take up this tradition as an act of solidarity with the school children of Japan and in the hope of peace for them and for the world.  If stories were to reach Japan of school children from across the seas making cranes for Japan then it might just give them a little hope.

If you feel you can help, click the link below

Many thanks for your time.

Response to Japan
Bob Bowie


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