058 "A Thousand Cranes for Peace"

Top Panel -16" x 20" / Oil on Canvas Detail

Middle Panel -16" x 50" / Oil on Canvas Detail

Bottom Panel -30" x 8" / Oil on Canvas Detail

  by John WorldPeace


A partial interpretation from the artist's transient perspective

This painting is made up of three canvases. The top canvas is a 16" x 20" oval. The middle canvas is a 16" x 50" rectangle. The bottom canvas is a 30" x 8" rectangle.

The bottom canvas has a black background, which represents the core of the Infinite Potential from which all things manifest. There is a yin-yang symbol, which symbolizes the ever changing churning of the universe. The paper cranes arise out of this void (God, Infinite Potential).

The middle canvas has grey bars in the background, which are the ashes of war. The straight lines symbolize the buildings of human society, which are in contrast to the curving lines of nature. The structures of man are destroyed in war. From the ashes arise the one thousand cranes (or one thousand phoenixes).

The top canvas has a white background with paper cranes forming an eternal circle. This represents the aspirations of human society to attain WorldPeace. There is a golden spiral, which is a sacred symbol for the ever expanding and contracting underlying nature of this reality.

John WorldPeace
October 20, 2002

[Photo of Sadako Sasaki]

Sadako Sasaki

Sadako wrote of her cranes: 

        ' I will write Peace on your wings 
        and you will fly all over the world.'



[Paper Cranes to Real Crane]

A Thousand Cranes for Peace

When Hiroshima was bombed on August 6th, 1945, the Sasaki family was spared. Or so it seemed. Sadako Sasaki was only two at the time. Until the age of twelve, she grew strong and healthy and was the fastest runner on her school’s relay team.

One day at school Sadako felt strange and dizzy, a feeling that she kept hidden. A few weeks later, while running, everything seemed to whirl about her and she sank to the ground. Sadako had leukemia, "the atom bomb disease".

While she was in the hospital, her closest friend reminded her of an old Japanese legend. If she folded a thousand paper cranes, the gods might grant her wish to be well again. With courage and faith, Sadako began folding.

Though she was only able to fold 644 cranes before she died, Sadako had a profound impact on her friends and classmates. They completed her thousand cranes and raised money from school children all over Japan to build a statue honoring Sadako and all the children affected by the bomb.

[Sadako Statue in Hiroshima Peace Park]



Today, in Hiroshima's Peace Park, there is a statue of Sadako standing on top of a granite pedestal holding a golden crane in her outstretched arms. At its base a plaque reads:

This is our cry.
This is our prayer.
Peace in the world.

Every year, children from around the world fold cranes and send them to Hiroshima where they are placed around the statue. Because of Sadako, the paper crane has become an international symbol of peace.


Thousand Cranes for Peace Network

Home Page






Copyright 2017 by John WorldPeace All Rights Reserved