A special guest for two local schools in honor of Peace Day

Published On: Sep 21 2012 05:14:00 PM HST

Students make paper cranes in preparation of Peace Day Festival.

HONOLULU -

For the first time Saturday, Hawaii will host a Peace Day Festival in honor of international peace.

The students from Hongwanji Mission School and Pacific Buddhist Academy were joined by Yuji Sasaki of Japan who travels the world to spread the message of peace.

His aunt, Sadako Sasaki, survived the atomic blast that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 when she was two years old.
Her story is depicted in a popular children's book, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

Despite radiation sickness she tried to make 1,000 paper cranes in the hospital hoping a wish would be granted.

Sadako Sasaki's cranes are symbols for innocent victims of conflict and for peace.

Yuji Sasaki brought one of Sadako's hand made cranes to show the students. Her cranes are small he said because she wanted to make as many as she could with material she could find in the hospital.

Yuji says he came to Hawaii because he wants Japan and America to go beyond their differences, to connect hands, and create a peaceful world. Yuji says, I think Sadako would want us to do that.

Student Blayne Nakasone says, "It means kind of a lot to me because my family is from Hiroshima so it directs back to my history of my family, so it feels good to be participating in this."

Sadako Sasaki died at the age of 12. Tomorrow, one of her cranes will be donated to National Park Service at the Pearl Harbor visitor center.

This is only the third crane made by Sadako Sasaki to be donated outside of Japan.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, everyone is invited to join a peace walk that will begin at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and end at Blaisdell Park.

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