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Life: People

  • Who are the top 10 most famous people in Japan?
    It's hard to say who are the most famous people, but singer and actor Takuya Kimura (nicknamed "Kimutaku") and comedian and movie director "Beat" Takeshi Kitano would be very close to the top of the list. Other very famous people include singers Ayumi Hamazaki and Hikaru Utada, sumo brothers Takanohana and Wakanohana, soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata, and young baseball pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

  • Who was Sadako? How old was she when she died?
    Sadako Sasaki was a girl who became famous for folding origami cranes while she was dying from leukemia. Sadako was born in 1943 and lived in Hiroshima, where an atomic bomb was dropped in August 1945. When she was 11 years old, Sadako became sick because of radiation from the bomb. Her friend told her about a Japanese legend that folding 1,000 paper cranes would bring a person a long life, so Sadako began to fold cranes. Despite her prayers, she died in 1955, at the age of 12. Now the paper crane has become a symbol of peace, and every year children from all over the world send thousands of cranes to Hiroshima to commemorate Sadako's story and to pray for peace. Find out how to fold a paper crane in our Virtual Culture section.