Japan: Elyx and the Japanese legend of Senbazuru

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Elyx felt revived from the sunny beaches of Togo, and after arriving in Japan, immediately wanted to visit the UN University in Tokyo and exercise the brain. Elyx was very impressed with the work of the university, which covers subjects from peace, security and human rights to sustainable energy and technology. Following the tour, Elyx sat down on the stairs of the university to read the UN University magazine Our World.

UnUniversity headquarters 
Elyx visits the UN University in Tokyo.(Photo Credits: UNIC Toyko/Kaoru Nemoto)

In the middle of reading an interesting article on urban farming in Tokyo, Elyx was interrupted by the distant sounds of singing. Keen to discover the origins of the sounds, Elyx found a UN staff choir and went on a mini-tour with them, taking the bullet train from Tokyo to Hiroshima. In Hiroshima, Elyx performed with the group and could not hide his excitement.

Elyx at music exchange by UN Singers with people in Hiroshima
Elyx sings along with the choir in Hiroshima.(Photo Credits: UNIC Toyko/Kaoru Nemoto)

The choir also told Elyx the ancient legend of Senbazuru, or a thousand paper cranes. The legend goes that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish. The crane is one of the mystical or holy creatures in Japan together with the dragon and the tortoise. Some also say folding thousand origami cranes will grant you eternal good luck, which makes Senbazuru a popular gift for special friends and family.

Elyx with senbazuru
Elyx and the thousand paper cranes.(Photo Credits: UNIC Toyko/Kaoru Nemoto)

Though Elyx would have loved to stay with the friendly choir, there was a train to catch from Hiroshima to Nagasaki. Here, Elyx visited the Nagasaki Peace Park, established in 1955 and situated near the hypocenter of the Nagasaki explosion. Elyx stayed there for a while, remembering the victims of the bombings and hoping that the work of the Regional Office of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Tokyo will contribute to a peaceful world, so that one day, we can be free from nuclear weapons.

Elyx in Nagasaki, at the Peace Monument, just before the start of the memorial ceremony marking the 70 years of atomic bombing 2
Elyx at the Nagasaki Peace Park.(Photo Credits: UNIC Toyko/Kaoru Nemoto)

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Learn more about Japan at the United Nations

UN University in Tokyo
Mission of Japan in the UN
International Atomic Agency
UNIC Tokyo (Japanese)

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