Japan 2009 — Hiroshima (広島市) (Hiroshima) — Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (広島平和記念公園 60
The Children's Peace Monument is also called the "Tower of Thousand Cranes," for many thousands of folded paper cranes are offered there all through the year. The origin of the three-legged monument (tower) can be traced back more than five decades. On the twenty-fifth of October 1955, ten years after the end of the war, a first-year student at Nobori-cho Junior High School named Sadako Sasaki died of an A-bomb disease (leukemia) in the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital. Until the end she was hoping for recovery because of a popular belief which says that "folding a thousand paper cranes will bring good luck." The sudden outbreak of her A-bomb disease and her death gave her classmates a great shock. They realized all the more keenly the horrer of the A-bomb. Because of this her classmartes decided to erect a monument to comfort Sadako's soul and to express their desire for peace. The idea spread and was supported by people all over Japan; this became a large movement so that finally the monument came into being. It was unveiled on Children's Day, May 5, 1958. The sponsor was the "Hiroshima Children and Students Association for the Creation of Peace."
At the top of the 9-meter-high monument there is a bronze statue of a girl stretchinbg her arms up in the air and holding a golden crane, conveying hope for a peaceful future. Two statues, one on the right and one on the left side of the monument symbolize a boy, a girl, and bright hope. A bell, modeled after an ancient bronze bell, hangs inside the tower. It was contributed by Dr .Hideki Yukawa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, who was much moved by the feelings of the boys and girls. A golden crane suspended from the bell creates the sound of a windbell. On the front Earth and in the Heavens" is written in Dr. Yukawa's handwriting. However, the bell and a golden crane are presently exhibited in the first-floor lobby of the east Building of the East Building of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Directly under the monument, the words "This is our cry. This is our prayer. For building peace in this world," written by a junior high school student, are carved on a black granite block. Students from over 3,100 schools in Japan as well as in England and nine other foreign countries contributed funds for the monument.