A mobile of 1,000 origami (folded-paper) cranes made by visitors, staff and volunteers at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) will be unveiled Sunday at the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba.
The colourful cranes were created during a family-friendly art activity at the CMHR last September for Peace Days – an annual festival inspired by Rotary World Peace Partners that surrounds the United Nations International Day of Peace. The activity was used to discuss the role of peace in protecting the rights of children.
The relationship between peace and origami cranes grows from the story of Sadako Sasaki, who was two years old when the atomic bomb fell on her home city of Hiroshima in Japan in 1945. The little girl suffered radiation exposure and, while being treated for leukemia years later, learned about an ancient Japanese legend that someone who folds 1,000 cranes is granted a wish by the gods. Sadako immediately set to work, completing more than 600 cranes before she passed away at the age of 12. Her classmates completed the rest, in support for Sadako's wish for peace.
JCAM Vice-President Ken Teramura, CMHR interpretive program developer Amber Parker and master origami artist Brian Cox will deliver opening remarks and be available for interviews. Winnipegger Terumi Kuwada, a past president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (whose father grew up in Hiroshima), will speak about her visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where there is a monument to Sadako and the thousands of children killed by the atomic bomb. CMHR staff will also be onsite to conduct an origami activity.