Sadako Sasaki, a 2-year-old girl, was killed when the atomic bomb dropped, hitting her home on Aug. 6, 1945 near Hiroshima, Japan. Her image and legacy has been construed in two very different ways -- one in popular culture as a frightening figure, the other as a symbol of peace.
Sadako has been popularly depicted through "The Grudge," where the theme is that a curse develops when a person dies under extreme anger or sorrow. The evil character of a Japanese girl with long stringy black hair covering her face only enough to show one eye at times has become synonymous with Sadako's name. If you Google Sadako, you will see many versions of her character as a symbol of fear before discovering another version. It could therefore be interpreted that Sadako's anger for her death due to the atomic bomb has remained and she seeks revenge on the American woman who temporarily lives in the home as a nurse.
The other depiction of Sadako is simply for peace. After her death, funds were raised for a memorial of Sadako and other children who had died from the effects of the atomic bomb dropping. In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was erected, which is silhouetted in the opening photograph.