[Looking for nominations!] Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: セーラー服と機関銃


Author: 佐々木 雅弘
Page count: 156 pages
Natively: 禎子の千羽鶴 戦争ノンフィクション





This is the true story of Sadako Sasaki, who was 2 years old at the time when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and years later became severely sick from side-affects of the radiation and while hospitalized folded a thousand paper cranes because of the legend that doing so would grant the folder a wish. This book is written by her older brother.


Paperback (Amazon JP)
Paperback (Kinokuniya)
eBook (Kindle)

Personal Opinion

True take on the life of a girl that has become famous in Japan (and worldwide). See Wikipedia page for more history in English. Her story is often told to school children in Japan on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. This book covers from her birth through her death through the eyes of a family member and shines a more personal light on what would become almost a legendary story.

I struggle to read non-fiction sometimes and most often find myself sticking to only fantasy or sci-fi stories, but I picked this up on a visit to Hiroshima years ago and have wanted to read it ever since.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • well-known story
  • available in both hardcopy and ebook
  • on the shorter side
  • furigana for all kanji make it more accessible than the vocabulary would otherwise indicate
  • contains footnotes for potentially unfamiliar terms (kindle version links directly to these)
  • lovely charcoal illustrations


  • some difficult vocabulary terms early on (not many after the first couple chapters except for some medical terms near the end)
  • it’s a sad story


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Taken from Amazon preview because I’m horrible at taking pictures of books:

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

First time nominating anything, I hope this looks okay! Let me know if I need to make any edits.