Editor’s Note: Inspired by Joe and Campaign Nonviolence, you can create your own cranes and send them along to be part of the 70,000 cranes and/or use them in your own remembrance of the Hiroshima/Nakasaki 70th anniversary. More information and resources about the paper cranes tradition are included below.
I’ve been fascinated by the communal activity represented by folding cranes ever since reading the story of Sadako. (Maybe you’ve read that story too.)
It seems to me that that folding cranes — and folding cranes together with other people — is very similar to prayer. It’s a simple, discrete activity that anyone can participate in. It can be very brief. It can be very private. But it can also open up all kinds of possibilities.
One of the possibilities that Campaign Nonviolence is interested in telling people here in the U.S. about is their gathering in New Mexico in August — to work for nonviolence and against nuclear weapons.
How about you? How many uses can you think of for a crane?
There are many books proffered to children that provide justifications for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The discourse on the use of atomic weapons is certainly a worthy topic of study for young people of a certain age. However, there is a distinction between critical reading of atom bombing history and passive receiving of atom bombing dogma. I am wondering about how this can be effectively broken down.
Soon, Kazashi was able to visit the U.S. again, and we had the opportunity to renew our friendship. He told me about his work: “When I obtained a position at a university, it turned out to be in Hiroshima,” I remember Kazashi telling me. “So it was very natural that I became connected with the peace movement. I became a peace worker.”