Photo Challenge: Wish

I’m steering away from my blog’s Yemen theme for this photo post, but I think I can connect them.

And I really, really, REALLY wanted to use photos I took myself for a photo challenge. I’ve never been to Yemen and therefore, do not have my own photos. BUT I used to live in Japan, so I have plenty of those.

ANYWAY!

Paper cranes. 1000 origami paper cranes. Senbazuru. 千羽鶴.

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These beautiful, colorful pieces of folded paper can be found all over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. According to the legend, if you fold 1000 paper cranes, then your wish will come true. Why one thousand? Cranes are special, holy creatures in Japan and are believed to live for 1000 years.

This tradition of senbazuru became especially popular because of a girl named Sadako. She was a young girl when an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and eventually developed leukemia, like many other children in the city. Her wish was for her illness to be cured so she began folding 1000 paper cranes. There are conflicting stories about whether or not she finished.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only two cities where an atomic bomb has been dropped. If you’ve ever been to either city, you’ll remember seeing ruins, buildings where only the foundations remain, and awful stories. Roof tiles melted together, watches stopped, people vanished with only their shadows remaining, dye from fabric burned into skin, and the most horrifying of all the melting people. Can you imagine walking around your burning city, your skin dripping from you because you’re melting? A recreation of this is on display at the museum in Hiroshima. I will never forget the school trip that was there the same time as me and the kids SCREAMING when they saw it.

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It is my wish that these weapons are never used again. Not in Japan, not in the US, not in Yemen. Nowhere. “Wish the world peace and love. 世界が平和でありますように!”

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