Her ‘Cry’ for Peace

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Melissa Manchester

Melissa Manchester

The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center will present “Remembering Sadako: Folding for Peace,” a three-day celebration from Friday, Aug. 1, to Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo.

The event honors the legacy of Sadako Sasaki, a young victim of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, whose commitment to fold a thousand origami cranes has become an international symbol for peace.

“Remembering Sadako” is made possible in part by generous support from Toyota Motor Sales USA and Henry Ota.

Sadako Saasaki suffered from leukemia brought on by radiation poisoning. She died six months after this 1955 photo was taken. (Photo courtesy of Sadako Legacy)

Sadako Saasaki suffered from leukemia brought on by radiation poisoning. She died six months after this 1955 photo was taken. (Photo courtesy of Sadako Legacy)

The signature event for the weekend celebration will be the Concert for Peace on Aug. 2 at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. The concert features Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester, well-known for such hits as “Through the Eyes of Love” and “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” The concert will also include multi-instrumentalist David Lindley and saxophonist Justin Klunk.

The concert will feature a special appearance by Japanese singer/ songwriter Yuji Sasaki, nephew of Sadako Sasaki. An active participant in peace events in Japan, he has received international praise for his song “Inori,” meaning “prayer” in Japanese, which narrates the story of his aunt’s life.

Tickets for the Concert for Peace start at $30; $60 VIP seats will include an autographed copy of Manchester’s new CD.

JACCC will host a variety of free, family-friendly events over the weekend that include storytelling performances by Grateful Crane Ensemble, traditional Japanese tea ceremony demonstrations, an inter-faith ceremony for peace, and origami crane-folding workshops.

“Sadako and her inspirational story have shown us the power that a simple symbol — a paper crane — can have in inspiring a worldwide commitment to peace,” said Leslie Ito, president and CEO of JACCC. “What better way to honor her life and legacy than through a celebration of art and culture?”

Throughout the weekend, paper cranes created by visitors during the event will be included in a thousand-crane display that will be sent to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, along with other thousand-crane arrangements sent from all over the world.

Attendees to the Concert for Peace or any of the events at the JACCC are encouraged to wear an origami crane as a symbol of individual and community commitment to peace.

The JACCC is located at 244 S. San Pedro St. between Third and Second streets. Events such as the Grateful Crane Ensemble performances, tea ceremony demonstrations, origami workshops and the Ceremony for Peace are free; tickets for the Concert for Peace can be purchased online or by phone at (213) 628-2725. For more information or to purchase tickets to the concert, visit www.jaccc.org/concertforpeace.php.

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