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Japan Book Club: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes – Part 2

February 19, 2012

This week we’ll finish Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  It’s a short book with a powerful message.

Since this book tells the story of a young girl who was just a toddler when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, it’s a different story from the last one we read, Hiroshima.

As you’ll learn in the book, despite appearing healthy immediately after the blast, ten years later, Sadako develops leukemia because of the radiation.

Instead of discussing the decision of dropping the bomb on Japan, and whether or not that was the right move, let’s try to focus on the positive.

In Hiroshima, there is a statue in the Peace Park to honor Sadako.  People from all over the world bring paper cranes to place beneath the statue.

The TAP teachers think it would be nice if we could bring some very nice cranes too.  Not the squished, rushed through, kinda ugly ones we made in class last week, but some really nice colorful ones.

Some people even write a message or poem either to Sadako or just to symbolize peace around the world on their paper before folding it into a crane.

Maybe we won’t be able to fold 1,000 cranes, but with 32 students in our group, we should be able to get quite a few.

Your assignment this week is to tell some people Sadako’s story, then ask them to fold a paper crane with you – you can show them how.  Get as many as you can.  Encourage people to write a message or poem on their paper.

When you’re done, come here and post about the experience.  How did people react to you?  Were people receptive to your idea?  Did anyone write a great poem?  How did you convince friends or family members to make paper cranes with you?

Every student in our Japan group is required to participate.  You must comment on this post with your thoughts, then come back and comment on what other people have said – you are required to make an effort to keep the conversation going by replying to at least 2 other students (more than just “I agree” or “you are right.” Give them reasons why you agree/disagree or what they said that was meaningful – make this a discussion). 

Next week we’ll be reading The Master Puppeteer by Katherie Paterson – you should begin looking for your own copy at a local library or book store soon. has some cheap used copies available too.  
76 Comments leave one →
  1. Tyler Pearson permalink
    February 19, 2012 3:02 pm

    I convinced my mom to fold a paper crane with me by saying it was homework;). It was actually a lot of fun, until the dog chewed it to a pulp. We made about five cranes, thanks to that dog on mine. My mom actually read about this story when she was little. Unfortunately, no one else tried, and mom didn’t write any other poems yet too.

    • Nate Zurawski permalink
      February 19, 2012 9:20 pm

      That is unfortunate that your dog made a snack out of your cranes.

    • Zach Ciko permalink
      February 20, 2012 4:24 pm

      I agree with nate it unfortunate that your dog ate your paper cranes, but atleast you had fun.

    • Blair Tuider permalink
      February 20, 2012 4:39 pm

      That stinks that your dog chewed up something you worked hard on. That’s cool your mom knows the story to!

    • Shane Chetney permalink
      February 26, 2012 9:01 pm

      My dad made a couple. An my dog ruined one by chewing it too. Haha what a coincidence.

    • Meghan Moreno permalink
      April 3, 2012 5:45 pm

      My kitty licked mine. :33

  2. Nate Zurawski permalink
    February 19, 2012 9:20 pm

    Me and my mother made some cranes it took us a long time because we were terrible at it. I have no clue how Sakado got so far making them. If I were any better at making them I probably would’ve enjoyed it more. Maybe if i practice more I will get better.

    • Blair Tuider permalink
      February 20, 2012 4:37 pm

      I agree if we all practice then we will be better at origami by the time we go to Japan.

    • Zach Ciko permalink
      February 20, 2012 4:40 pm

      I tryed making some cranes with my mom by telling them it wasw homework, but we unfortunatly ended up with crumpled up kites. I think sadako is insane by making it to as far as she has. Yet I have no desire to make anymore cranes.

      • February 28, 2012 6:33 pm

        I think that Sadako made so many because she had nothing to do, and she was probably very good at it, because she had so much practice.

    • Cj moody permalink
      February 22, 2012 2:50 pm

      I don’t really think anyone could be as good as sadako At making the cranes but I’m HORRIBLE at it

    • Sydney Bebar permalink
      February 23, 2012 7:31 pm

      I don’t get how she made so many either! It took my mom and I about 30 minutes for one each!

    • Jessica Sherwin permalink
      February 25, 2012 11:24 am

      Making the cranes were difficult, Sadako must have REALLY taken her time to make each on pretty and probably perfect.

  3. Blair Tuider permalink
    February 20, 2012 4:36 pm

    My brother and I made a couple cranes and it was difficult! It took us a while to fully understand it, and when we were finished they didn’t turn out so well. Sadako must have been a pro to make these. If I practice more I’m sure I’ll be able to know how to fold cranes without help or redoing it. I think my brother enjoyed it because he got to learn something new.

    • Cj moody permalink
      February 22, 2012 2:48 pm

      I agree… She made quite a lot and I wish I was better at making these… Because then I could make good one to bring to japan

    • Sydney Bebar permalink
      February 23, 2012 7:30 pm

      It took me and my mom a while on the head and tail flipping! Yeah and ours didn’t turn out that good either.

  4. Cj moody permalink
    February 22, 2012 2:47 pm

    So me and my cousin that currently lives with me thought it would be cool to make so we did about 5 together… I told him a little about the story and he thought it would be cool to make a couple to bring to Japan with me… He didn’t write any poems though

    • February 26, 2012 1:12 pm

      im going to do the same, bringing them with me to put by the statue they made.

    • Tyler Webber permalink
      February 26, 2012 8:08 pm

      Did you write any poems?

  5. Sydney Bebar permalink
    February 23, 2012 7:29 pm

    I decided to try this with my mom, though with the two of us we had some trouble with the head and tail forming. The most important is that we had fun and made a few cranes. My mom didn’t write anything, and the only way to get her to do it was to help her through it step-by-step even if I was ahead.

    • Jessica Sherwin permalink
      February 25, 2012 11:20 am

      My sister and I had trouble on the head, since we always folded the head at the wrong part.

    • February 26, 2012 1:13 pm

      i agree, the head and tail were the most difficult parts to form.

      • Nailah permalink
        March 6, 2012 5:19 pm

        I agree I got confused even at tue meeting with Mr.Curtis showing us that trips me up

    • Tyler Webber permalink
      February 26, 2012 8:07 pm

      I thought the tail was so hard, but after trying it a couple times it got easier. Which did you think was harder? Head or tail?

    • Shane Chetney permalink
      February 26, 2012 8:59 pm

      Me and my dad had the hardest time with the head and tail too. Out of the ten minutes it took my dad to make the crane, at least three was on the head and tail

    • Kevin Wilson permalink
      March 14, 2012 7:18 pm

      i agree as well it took my friend 3 or 4 tries to get the head descent looking.

  6. Jessica Sherwin permalink
    February 25, 2012 11:14 am

    My friend, my mom, and my sister helped me make fourty (in total) paper cranes, since we were really bored. Though my sister and friend helped mostly, I made eleven on my own. At first I had trouble with one part, but I soon got the hang of it after the fifth try. My friend found out that using sticky notes are a lot easier than paper. Everyone reacted the same, they thought it was pretty cool to make a few origamis, though they refused to write a little poem or message and I really couldn’t think of anything. But we had lots of fun making them.

    • February 27, 2012 8:57 pm

      dang, fourty?! you guys must have been really bored, i mean, think of all the anime episodes that could have been watched! :G

    • Ben Trouvais permalink
      March 4, 2012 6:37 pm

      Think about it; if you made 40 in one sitting, imagine how many you could make over the course of a week or month!

      • Nailah permalink
        March 6, 2012 5:20 pm

        Alot that would be 280 for the whole week

    • Bobby Cortesi permalink
      March 10, 2012 7:19 pm

      i also had trouble making parts of it like the head but we became so frustrated we made like 2 or 3 so props to you for make 40

  7. Mark Burjek permalink
    February 25, 2012 5:06 pm

    I got my mom, dad, and brothers to make cranes with me. My mom and Drew are pretty good at those kinds of things, but my dad, Jimi, and I aren’t the most artistic people you’ll find. We all had fun though, and one of them ended up getting stepped on.

    • February 27, 2012 8:53 pm

      may this comment be in memory of the crane that was squashth’d

    • Nate Zurawski permalink
      March 4, 2012 8:35 pm

      Poor cranes being stomped…

    • Bobby Cortesi permalink
      March 10, 2012 7:20 pm

      haha mine also got crushed when m brothers took off with them because they thought they were interesting.

  8. February 26, 2012 1:09 pm

    i found it pretty difficult to make the cranes, i made about 5 with my borthers, but we got the hang of it. my mom thought that the story was interesting when i told her about it, and my brothers were excited to learn more about her. i was planning to take some with, and put them out there.

    • Elise Vice permalink
      March 1, 2012 8:26 pm

      I think that the cranes are really pretty, and worth the time it takes to learn to make a perfect one.

  9. Tyler Webber permalink
    February 26, 2012 8:06 pm

    I decided to make a crane with my close family friend. Even though it was kind of hard to figure out, we managed to work through it and had some fun too. My friend wouldn’t show me what she wrote, she said it was a secret. So, I’m guessing it was something pretty important to her. I didn’t have to tell her what to do, we just went through each step together and our cranes turned out good. We made two each.

    • Mark Burjek permalink
      March 6, 2012 4:32 pm

      You’re probably anxious to know what she wrote. I hate when people keep secrets from me

  10. Shane Chetney permalink
    February 26, 2012 8:58 pm

    I convinced my dad to do it. He was actually quite good at it, only becasue he knows how to do it. He made one crane in about 10 minutes. Me, i took about ten minutes to do one step. His cranes good have been ten times better though if he wrote the poem. It was easy to convince him. I just told him i had to make a crane with somebody and reacted by saying, “where is the paper.”

    • February 28, 2012 6:31 pm

      How did your dad react to Sadako’s story? That was one of the most interesting parts with my mom.

  11. February 28, 2012 6:28 pm

    I just got done making a paper crane with my mother. We had a good time. As soon as I told her it was for TAP, she agreed to do it. But, she was very interested in Sadako’s story. It was a great teaching experince for me, and she enjoyed it. She didn’t write a poem though, because she said she didn’t have enough time. It was very fun, and her crane wasn’t bad; it was better than my first one.

  12. February 29, 2012 6:21 pm

    i got my friend Becky to make some with me and since im used to making them, it wasnt a problem, but she had some difficulties. She isnt that much of a writter, to she drew pictures and i did as well because i really couldnt think of anything to write. Becky was really interested in the whole story about how people leave sadako cranes at her statue, so she told me that i should make 1000 and leave them there. The only thing i could say in response was, “Challenge excepted.”.

    • Elise Vice permalink
      March 1, 2012 8:23 pm

      We should all make 1000 cranes and bring them. That would be incredible.

      • Elise Vice permalink
        March 1, 2012 8:24 pm

        ( like we should make sure everyone made enough so we got to 1000 )

      • March 21, 2012 5:10 pm

        Yeah. And have everyone contruibe to a collection of cranes and leave them at the statue in Peace Park!

    • Ben Trouvais permalink
      March 4, 2012 6:35 pm

      I think it’s really cool that instead of writing a poem you drew pictures. It’s a new take on an old idea.

    • Mark Burjek permalink
      March 6, 2012 4:33 pm

      That really would be amazing if you completed the challenge. Maybe I could help you Hacko:D

    • Drew Burjek permalink
      March 14, 2012 5:14 pm

      You told me about Becky and you making cranes. We have started to make cranes together, and I hope we get to 1,000. I also think that it was cool how you drew pictures on your cranes instead of a message. I know I am not a writer, I would much rather draw pictures.

  13. Yazmine Thomas permalink
    March 3, 2012 1:09 pm

    My sister didn’t understand at all about the story ,but she did like making the cranes .They was the worst cranes I ever saw, she made my cranes look like sadukas . Everyone found the story interesting .

    • Lyssette Bedolla permalink
      March 27, 2012 6:59 pm

      My sister didn’t ethier. she kept asking questions. I stopped answering them when she asked me how world war one started ( after so many questions she asked and I answered ).

    • Meghan Moreno permalink
      April 3, 2012 5:51 pm

      My family made cranes that looked like an elephant pooped on another pile of kitty poop. If you didn’t already know, that’s pretty ugly.

  14. Ben Trouvais permalink
    March 4, 2012 6:32 pm

    I went to my church and asked them if they would like to help fold cranes. Many people agreed and, yesterday alone, I got 25 paper cranes. One person in particular has seriously commited to the idea and plans on making more. She said she’d give me some every week untill the trip. Hopefully we can reach the goal of 1000.

    • Kevin Wilson permalink
      March 14, 2012 7:21 pm

      that is really cool. i think it is awesome that you got someone so committed that the are going to give you some every week.

    • March 21, 2012 5:08 pm

      That’s really awesome! You must feel specail.

    • Hannah Schram permalink
      March 24, 2012 12:33 pm

      My neighbor and I were thinking of the same idea, but the idea kind of faded. Hopefully you guys can reach your goal.

    • Kamil Czaplinski permalink
      March 26, 2012 12:36 am

      That sounds like it would be an amazing idea. We should try and get more people to participate and spread the word of these paper cranes.

  15. Nailah permalink
    March 6, 2012 5:22 pm

    I tried the paper cranes with my brothers and it didn’t really work…mainly because they’re 4&6 but still….my parents told me they didn’t have time but they’re going to feel bad when I can do it and they sitting there reading origami books

    • Hannah Schram permalink
      March 24, 2012 12:35 pm

      I bet your brothers made better paper cranes than me…

    • Lyssette Bedolla permalink
      March 27, 2012 6:55 pm

      my sister (age 7) made her “own” version of the crane she gave up on the actual thing. my dad tried but gave up in the first couple steps.

    • Alyssa permalink
      April 9, 2012 4:15 am

      I agree with Hannah. Your brothers’ cranes were probably better than mine.

  16. Bobby Cortesi permalink
    March 10, 2012 7:17 pm

    I did this with my mom and she didnt really seem to understand the legend of the paper cranes because she said “how does folding paper cranes give u a wish?” but other cultures dont always make sense to everyone. She was receptive to the idea of making the crane but she became very frustrated because we messed up just like in class but she wasn’t really up for the idea of making a poem.

    • Drew Burjek permalink
      March 14, 2012 5:09 pm

      I could see your mom getting mad at origami, mine did too. And your right about how other cultures don’t make sense to everyone. This is because we live in a very different place and do very different things.

  17. Drew Burjek permalink
    March 14, 2012 5:07 pm

    I got my friend in study hall to fold a paper crane with me because me and Jackie were folding them and he wanted to try, and he was very receptive. I showed him how, and after a few failures, he finally made a relatively acceptable one. I asked him if he knew the story of Sadako and the 1,000 paper cranes. He said he had heard that there was a story about paper cranes, but didn’t know anything about it. I asked him to write a message or poem or something on the crane for my homework, and he wrote a message of when we went bowling together and met each other. He wasn’t very good at folding, but he did better than my little brother.

  18. Kevin Wilson permalink
    March 14, 2012 7:15 pm

    I tried telling my friend at school and he didn’t really seem to care. Then i asked him if he wanted to make a paper crane and he said that it was a weird question and in the end i got him to make one. however, when we were finished he said that it was strange.

  19. March 21, 2012 5:05 pm

    So I facebook messaged my friends in Chicago and emailed one of my other friends. They all thought it was a sad story. They folded paper cranes on their own, because… Well they live really far away. I just told them that it was part of my homework and one of them was like “Why would they make you do that!?” But I told her that it was important and she was cool with it.

  20. Hannah Schram permalink
    March 24, 2012 12:32 pm

    I got my short neighbor friend to fold a paper crane on the bus and as soon as I taught her, she got it on the first try since she has a little experience with origami. I was a little disapointed since it took me about a thousand tries to make one myself. I asked her if she knew about the legend of the thousand paper cranes from Japan she had no idea what I was talking about but she was excited to hear about it. As soon as I told her the story, she thought it would be a good idea to make a thousand of the cranes but sadly, I think she forgot about it the next day.

  21. Jacob Kosinski permalink
    March 24, 2012 4:52 pm

    I covinced my mom to try to make a paper crane, and it took about 3 tries and half an hour for her to finish one crane.When i told her about the story she didnt understand the legend and how you got a wish for making a thousdand cranes.Then i tried to get my brother to make a crane but it was a complete failure.

    • Kamil Czaplinski permalink
      March 26, 2012 12:33 am

      If I were to ask my brother to do the origami paper crane with me, we wouldn’t be able to get past the first five steps. He never wants to sit down and cooperate with me.

  22. Kamil Czaplinski permalink
    March 26, 2012 12:32 am

    I got my mom to make paper cranes with me and it was an excellent bonding moment for both of us. I learned that my mom used to love to do origami as a child. The cranes themselves went amazing. We almost ended up making them flawless. I told my mom about the story and she seemed quite interested. Neither my mom or me are good at making poems, so we decided on not writing them.

    • Alyssa permalink
      April 9, 2012 4:14 am

      I have previously tried origami with my mom, and shes worse than i am 😛 she got so frustrated.

  23. Lyssette Bedolla permalink
    March 27, 2012 6:51 pm

    1.) when I said it was for tap people went along with it and they were pretty eager to try it.
    2.) they were eager to try something new
    3.) no one wrote a “great” poem however my sister attempted
    4.) I told them it was for tap

  24. Meghan Moreno permalink
    April 3, 2012 5:48 pm

    My mom and brother made some and my brother all ready read the book before so he knew the story. My brother made a poem; Roses are red/ Violets are blue/ Paper Cranes are cool/ and so is Sadako.

  25. Alyssa permalink
    April 9, 2012 4:12 am

    The first crane i made, failed miserably. But i continued to try with the help of my friend and we ended up doing all right. We made four cranes (total) as i told her the story of Sadako.

  26. Elise Vice permalink
    April 11, 2012 2:11 pm

    Sadly, no one likes me and I was forced to make a crane on my own. It was really challenging, but definitely worth the time, since it was so beautiful by the time I was done. I wrote a poem on mine, it was about how beautiful life can be, I felt as if it fit the crane very well.

  27. Persephone Allee permalink
    April 16, 2012 3:32 pm

    To make these cranes, I had assistance from my brother (who really didn’t understand why), my mom, my grandma, my grandpa, and several of my friends. We made over twenty different cranes of different sizes and colors, some with patterns, some with a solid color, and some with both. Even though so many assisted me, no one wrote a “great” poem.” To help me, I told them this was not only for a school project but also very symbolic. After explaining a little of the story they all joined and made the cranes.

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