Peace On Your Wings
Sadako Sasaki was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped near her home in Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. She was subsequently diagnosed with leukemia caused by radiation exposure and died at age 12. While in the hospital, the young girl and her friends folded more than a thousand paper origami cranes, which Sadako imagined would fly around the world spreading messages of peace.
Sadako inspired generations of children with her wish for a more peaceful world, and she became an international symbol of the effects of nuclear war. In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. At the foot of the statue is a plaque that reads: “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.
The true story of Sadako was the inspiration for “Peace On Your Wings,” a fictional adaptation written by composer Jennifer Taira and her partner, lyricist Laurie Rubin, the driving forces behind Ohana Arts Performing Arts Festival and School, which they co-founded in 2010 with Cari Lee. Taira and Rubin specifically wanted to create a musical with issues and situations middle school students in Hawaii could relate to. “Peace On Your Wings” focuses on a group of friends who are inspired to lobby for a peace memorial to keep the memory of children like Sadako alive, and it touches on sensitive adolescent issues like bullying, self-identity, the dynamic between boys and girls, and the ability to cope with death and war. The musical score combines modern pop and Japanese influences to create an uplifting and inspiring show.
“Peace On Your Wings” has been performed to sold-out audiences across the Hawaiian Islands and seems to touch everyone—of every age—who sees it. Creators Taira and Rubin would love to bring it to Japan one day. Like all of the efforts at Ohana Arts, the show embodies the organization’s mission of “Promoting Peace and World Friendship through the universal language of the arts.”