Sadako: A story from real life has been introduced to overseas countries in the form of children's books.
The Beginning of the Sadako Story
|In the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, there is a Statute of the A-Bomb Children. The statue is modeled on the young girl Sadako Sasaki (1943 – 1955). When she was two years old, Sadako was exposed to the radiation of the atomic bomb. She developed leukemia 10 years later and died at the age of 12. Before dying, she folded paper cranes, praying for recovery from her illness. Her story was conveyed in the form of children's books and is well known in Japan. In one overseas country, an author inspired by media reporting about Hiroshima published Sadako's story in the form of a children's book, which was translated in many countries in response to the growing antinuclear and peace movement, becoming widely known throughout the world.
The Sadako Story was introduced to overseas countries not through the translation and publication of a book written by a Japanese author, but through the publication of the books about Sadako and the paper cranes she folded written by foreign authors inspired by the true story of Sadako Sasaki. These works were also translated into Japanese for publication in Japan. The books that served to spread Sadako's story across the globe are:
"Sadako will leben!" (No.253) [Its Japanese editions: “Sadako wa ikiru” (No.255) and “Sadako” (No.256)]
"Sadako and the thousand paper cranes" (No.257) [Not translated into Japanese]
Imaginatively, these two works depict Sadako folding paper cranes in the belief that if she folds thousand paper cranes, her wish will come true.
“Sadako will leben!” (No.253)
Austrian writer Karl Bruckner (1906 – 1982) won the City of Vienna Children's Book Prize and the Austrian Children's Book Prize for “Sadako will leben!” In 1962, 1964, and 1966, he was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. As soon as this work was released, it became a bestseller in Austria and Germany, and it was later translated in Europe, the United States (No.254) and the rest of the world. In 1963, the book was translated into Japanese and later temporarily went out of print. In 2000, however, a revised version of the book was republished. (No.256)
"Sadako and the thousand paper cranes" [Sadako to senbazuru – No.257]
Eleanor Coerr (1922 -), a Canadian-born American writer of children's books, came to Japan as a journalist for the Ottawa Journal in 1949 and visited Hiroshima in 1950. When she visited Hiroshima again in the 1960s, she learned of Sadako's story. Later, she wrote this book based on the collection of compositions compiled in memory of Sadako by Sadako's classmate, and she published it in 1977, for which she received the West Australian Book Award and the OMAR Award. Among the many books on Sadako, it is said that this is the most read book in the world. It was translated in many countries, including Sweden (No.258), France (No.259), China, Spain and Russia.
The Spread of the Sadako Story
Moreover, the Sadako story has been introduced to children as part of their classes. In Mongolia, her story has become a song, and in the United States, a statute of Sadako has been erected in a park. Thus, Sadako's story has been conveyed around the globe in various forms.
*For copyright reasons, images of some books are not available in this electronic exhibition.