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A mobile of 1,000 paper cranes was unveiled at the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba today. 

The brightly coloured cranes were created by visitors to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) last September as part of the museum's Peace Day celebrations. 

The exhibit commemorates the story of Sadako Sasaki, who suffered from Leukemia due to radiation exposure after an atomic bomb was dropped on her home city of Hiroshima. 

While in hospital, Sasaki learned about an ancient Japanese legend that someone who folds 1,000 cranes is granted a wish by the gods. She completed approximately 600 cranes before she died, and then her classmates finished the rest to fulfill her mission of wishing for world peace. 

paper cranes2Amber Parker

It's Sasaki's story that has historically linked paper cranes to peace, according to CMHR interpretive program developer Amber Parker. 

"It's a story that helps people around the world believe in a more peaceful future as well as the idea that being compassionate and understanding of others is something we can all benefit from," Parker said. "We wanted to make our own grouping of cranes in her memory and to signify the importance of human rights for children." 

Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba vice president Kenneth Teramura says they are thrilled to have a display that is so creative and important to their culture. 

"The crane traditionally is folded for Japanese weddings," Teramura says. "It symbolizes the peace and harmony in our culture." 

The cranes will be at the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba for the foreseeable future, but Parker says they will return to the museum at some point.