Photo/IllutrationNotebooks to be distributed free of charge contain commentaries on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Every single notebook comes with a complimentary sheet of origami paper. (Sonoko Miyazaki)

  • Photo/Illustraion

HIROSHIMA--Origami cranes donated to this atomic-bombed city as part of a "prayer for peace" have been recycled for use in notebooks.

The pads will be distributed to children across the globe if things proceed as planned by a volunteer group of small business entrepreneurs based in Hiroshima Prefecture.

Each notebook will be accompanied by a sheet of recycled origami paper. The initiators are hoping that recipients will think about peace when they fold the recycled paper into cranes, which could then "fly" back to Hiroshima.

The plan is called the Orizuru (Japanese for paper crane) Notebook Project.

Each pad has 40 pages of B5-size paper, with the cover and the first and last pages made of recycled paper. It contains, among other things, English-language commentaries on the life of Sadako Sasaki (1943-1955), the model of the Children’s Peace Monument in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and a method for folding a paper crane.

About 10 million paper cranes, equal to about 10 tons, are donated every year to the Children’s Peace Monument, according to the city government here. A special processing method has been used to recycle part of those origami cranes into the paper.

The project is the brainchild of Peace Minds Hiroshima, a private group set up by 13 promoters from the Hiroshima prefectural association of small business entrepreneurs.

Members of the group have been trying to find out, since 2015, ways to make a contribution to their local communities. They got inspiration from the public interest in Hiroshima and in origami cranes that rose up after Barack Obama in 2016 became the first U.S. president in office to visit Hiroshima and donated paper cranes that he had folded.

The group is led by Tomiko Kawano, 75, the operator of a kimono remake company in Hiroshima. She was an elementary school classmate of Sadako, who developed leukemia after being A-bombed in Hiroshima and continued folding paper cranes to pray for her own recovery until she died at the age of 12.

The group is calling for donations from businesses and individuals to enable notebooks to be distributed free of charge worldwide.

Having enlisted the help of Mayors for Peace, an organization led by Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, the group has decided to distribute 900 notebooks in three Mayors for Peace member cities in Germany, France and Australia.

The group is hoping to have notebooks distributed primarily in nations that possess nuclear weapons.

“We hope to enlist the participation of many people so we can realize a warless world where children can live in peace,” Kawano said.

Visit the group’s website at for details of the call for donations and of the project.