For Tomorrow

We walked quietly through Hiroshima’s Peace Garden and the Peace Museum, listened closely to the story of Sadako Sasaki. She was two years old when Enola Gay flew over Hiroshima. Although she was outside the perimeter of its immediate target, she was diagnosed with leukemia seven years later.  An after-effect of the bomb’s widespread toxicity. During eight months of hospitalization, she folded 1,000 paper cranes, many made from small labels off her medicines. In Japanese culture, the crane is symbolic of good fortune and longevity. Sadako was nine when she died.

In 1958, people from all over the world, sent chains of 1,000 paper cranes, to the dedication of the Children’s Peace Memorial. It commemorates Sadako and the thousands of innocent children who died as a result of the atomic bomb. We smiled at the beauty, patterns and bright colors of paper cranes on display. We looked upward to the widespread arms of the beautiful statue.

origami springs
paper cranes in my window
blessings soar each day

The crane has come to represent peace and hope and today,is one of the most popular figures created in the art of origami.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Frank asks us to write a “haibun to commemorate Hiroshima…to focus not on despair of nuclear holocaust, but on hope born of rising from the ashes. ”  Photos are from our recent visit to Hiroshima: the colorful display of paper cranes; the beautiful Children’s Peace Memorial Statue; paper crane chains I made that now hang in the window of my study; and a photo of me with Kenji. He was an exchange student from Japan in my senior year of high school, 1965. I had not seen him since then and was so excited to reconnect in Japan. He gave me the beautiful origami paper I used to make the cranes. A very special trip indeed.
Reason for title: On August 6, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The city holds a Peace Memorial Ceremony each August 6, to console the victims of the atomic bombs and to pray for the realization of lasting world peace.  Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a wonderful children’s historical novel written by Eleanor Coerr, published in 1977.
Haibun: A Japanese form of poetry that includes 2 or 3 succinct paragraphs of prose followed by a traditional haiku. 

27 thoughts on “For Tomorrow

    • lillian August 6, 2019 / 10:56 am

      Yes….I remember seeing the Enola Gay on display somewhere? Washington DC in the Air and Space Museum? And thinking oh….that’s interesting and just moving on to another exhibit. And then we went to Hiroshima on our recent Asian trip….and looked in horror at the Atomic Dome (only building left standing…although devastated) and walking through the Peace Garden and the Peace Museum and talking in hushed tones. May this never happen again.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Frank J. Tassone August 5, 2019 / 10:07 am

    A beautiful example of hope emerging from tragedy, lillian. I love the image of all of those paper cranes. Poignant and heart-piercing!

    Like

  2. Nancy Jahnke August 5, 2019 / 1:01 pm

    Beautifully written and grateful for the education regarding Sadako’s passion for cranes and her untimely death as a result of the atomic bomb! Making paper cranes is a soothing pastime of mine as well. From time forward, each crane will carry a memory of Sadako and her story! Thank you!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 6, 2019 / 10:57 am

      Ah….you and I, Nancy. When we get together for that cup of coffee, I shall bring origami paper. 🙂

      Like

  3. kim881 August 5, 2019 / 3:14 pm

    I love the photos, Lill, and the paper cranes – how wonderful that you got to meet up with Kenji. I shall keep my eyes open for a copy of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Your haiku is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 6, 2019 / 10:59 am

      Yes…..and sadly, wars and devastation and violence are, it seems like, an every day ocurrence.

      Like

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus August 5, 2019 / 4:29 pm

    How wonderful that you’ve been there. I adore the statue. You rocked the prompt, blowing the top off. Hope is ripe in your poetics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 6, 2019 / 11:00 am

      Since this prompt, and now today, I’m looking back over our photos. It was an amazing place to visit. Many tourists but no loud voices, no running, not many smiles. All talking in hushed tones.It is a sacred place where today, many will pray for world peace.

      Like

  5. msjadeli August 5, 2019 / 5:20 pm

    I think of Sadako folding the cranes and pouring her heart into them as she faded away. I like the way you pulled everything together here, Lillian, to honor the deceased.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 6, 2019 / 11:01 am

      It is a wonderful book…..and even though for young adults, quite worth reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. kanzensakura August 5, 2019 / 7:03 pm

    A lovely tribute to Sadako. but so sad and so utterly useless. It is hard to feel hope in the midst of such sorry and in humans today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 6, 2019 / 11:02 am

      Someone wrote to this prompt, a need to pull her gaze more inward…that it is too hard to look at all of the horrible things happening in this world. I understand that….but then again, I think it is time to stand up, speak out, and call out evil.

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    • lillian August 6, 2019 / 11:03 am

      Yes….and somehow, in our 24/7 cycle of news, so much of it horriffic in the past two days, we must speak out, and demand a better city, state, country, world.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. adda August 6, 2019 / 12:08 pm

    So spiritual and inspirational. Love this. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 6, 2019 / 1:14 pm

      Thank you, Add! Hoping to see you in October! 🙂

      Like

  8. Tranature - quiet moments in nature August 6, 2019 / 1:23 pm

    A beautiful and moving haibun Lillian and I love the peaceful symbolism of the statue xxx

    Like

  9. Kenji Kojima August 7, 2019 / 1:04 pm

    It is imperative that all of us do not let the tragic memory fallen into oblivion. Thank you Lillian for posting the topic so timely. It is, however, important to remember also that another one was dropped three days later, on 9th August, to Nagasaki causing the similar devastation.

    Like

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