This monument was dedicated on Children's Day, 1958, to Sadako Sasaki, who was exposed to the atomic bombing when she was 2 years old. She developed leukemia ten years later and passed away. Shocked by her death, her classmates put out a national call to "build a monument to mourn all the children who died from the atomic bombing." With the support of students in more than 3,100 schools throughout Japan and nine other countries, including Great Britain, this 9 m-high bronze statue was completed.
Standing on the top of the three-legged dome pedestal is the bronze figure of a girl holding up a gold-colored folded paper crane. On the left and right flanks of the pedestal are suspended boy and girl figures symbolizing a bright future and hope. The stone underneath the pedestal is inscribed, "This is our cry. This is our prayer. For building peace in this world."
The monument was created by Kazuo Kikuchi, then professor of Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. Hung inside the tower are a gold crane, which rings like a wind chime, and a bell modeled after an ancient bronze bell, which was contributed by Dr. Hideki Yukawa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, who was very moved by the feelings of the children. Currently, the original bell and gold crane are exhibited in the first-floor lobby of the East Building of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.