On my morning Friday runs around Lake Union, I pass a life-size bronze statue of a little Japanese girl holding a folded crane. She is hard to miss, as she is always adorned with a string of origami cranes in all the colors of the rainbow. The statue is in a little park called the Peace Park, though more of a green space than an actual park.
The statue was created in 1990 by artist Daryl Smith as a monument to the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who survived the Hiroshima bombing, but died of leukemia from radiation at age 12. While she was hospitalized, she set a goal of folding 1,000 cranes before she died, and these have since become an international symbol of peace.
The Peace Park where the statue is placed was created at the initiative of peace activist Dr. Floyd Schmoe (1895-2001), who conceived the park as both a monument to world peace and a way to beautify a garbage-strewn, overgrown vacant lot. He used his prize money from the Hiroshima Peace Prize he won in 1998 to clean up and develop the lot with the help of hundreds of volunteers. The park was inaugurated on 6 August 1990, marking the 45th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.
The Peace Park doesn’t offer anything besides the statue, so it’s not something I’d go out of my way to see or make a destination, but it is a nice thing to look out for if you’re walking or running in that area anyway.