JUST over 70 years ago, a new and brutal way of waging war was unleashed on the Japanese city of Hiroshima when it was destroyed by the world’s first atomic bomb.

I went to the city two years ago and was awed by the skeletal remains of the Atomic Bomb Dome. Sited 150m away from the centre of the blast, it stands as a haunting memorial to the 166,000 people who died that day and from the bomb’s effects.

I went with my, then, seven-year-old daughter and it is a tricky place to bring children. We would often have to steer our seven-year-old away from the more harrowing exhibits and display boards.

But there are beautiful and dramatic reminders which are moving yet not explicit. The memorial to Sadako Sasaki is one.

She was two years old in August 1945 when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city and nine years later, she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

She believed that by making origami crane birds out of paper she would get better and she kept folding paper to make the small figures until eventually she died eight months later.

Her death became the inspiration to build what is now the Hiroshima Children’s Peace Monument, built with funds donated from all over Japan.

Now, almost 10 million cranes are taken each year to the monument. The statue is wreathed with garlands of the colourful birds made by schoolchildren from Japan and across the world in memory of the brave 11-year-old.

As I played my daughter in a park overlooked by the Atomic Bomb Dome, her laughter and that of another girl filled the air. Her father was with her and I noticed him carefully folding a piece of paper. He came over and offered a beautiful crane made from a newspaper to my delighted daughter.

It was a touching gesture in a place of such sorrow.