Japanese legend claims that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes you will be granted a wish. Paper cranes are symbolic for long life, recovery from illness or injury, and world peace. The cranes are commonly held together on 25 stings with beads on the ends to help prevent them from falling off. There are 40 folded paper cranes per a string. As a tradition in Japan it is common to give a married couple at there wedding 1000 folded paper cranes from the folder for happiness and prosperity. In western culture it has been custom to give a crane to cancer patients (usually terminally ill) to using them at funerals or on graves.
Sadako Sasaki was a little girl who was two years old, who was living in Hiroshima, Japan when an atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. She lived 1 mile from ground zero. About 10 years later she was diagnosed with leukemia. Her mother called it an "atomic bomb disease". In November 1954, she developed lumps on her neck and behind her ears. January 1955, she developed purple spots on her legs. In February she was diagnosed with leukemia and was hospitalized.
In August 1955, while in the hospital she became inspired by cranes that were donated, she began folding. Sadako completed 644 cranes before she passed away. Her family and friends finished the remaining and was buried with a 1000 of her cranes. In Hiroshima, there is a Children's Peace Monument for peace in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It is a monument for all the children who were victims in the atomic bombing. The monument is considered a wish for peace and directly under it there is a peace wind chime.