Sadako Sassaki was a two year-old girl when, in 1945, the American air force dropped the atomic bomb over her hometown of Hiroshima. She emerged apparently unscathed, alongside her mother and older brother. However, ten years later she was diagnosed with leukemia, the blood cancer then known throughout Japan as “atomic bomb disease”. A friend told her about a bird, the tsuru, which lives to a thousand years of age and has the power to grant wishes. If a person folds a thousand origami tsurus, repeating the wish over each, that wish will come true. So Sadako set about her task, and had produced 964 paper birds by October 25, 1955, when, surrounded by her family, she completed her final tsuru. Her classmates folded the remainder so they could go with her to the grave. On May 5, 1958, the Children’s Peace Memorial was inaugurated in the Hiroshima Peace Park, where a statue of Sadako holding a golden tsuru stands on a pedestal embossed with the words: This is our scream. This is our prayer: world peace.
To mark the centennial of Japanese immigration in Brazil, the theme of the 25th edition of SPFW, Passamanaria, an offshoot of SENAC, invited guests to fold a tsuru as remembrance and received, in return, an ecological bag designed by Jum Nakao.