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Big Ideas teamed up with the Premier League Academies, through the Football Remembers project, for a virtual commemoration to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day. 

On 15 August 1945 Imperial Japan surrendered to the Allies, ending World War II. During six years of fighting, at least 50 million people died. Shortly before VJ Day, on 6 and 9 August 1945, the United States, with the consent of the United Kingdom, dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively, to bring an end to the Pacific War. The bombs killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, the majority of whom were civilians. This catastrophic loss of life brought about the Japanese surrender.  

VJ Day marks the end to one of the most devastating periods of global history and the start of peace between warring nations. Although Japan and the UK were on opposing sides during WWII, they now have a friendly and peaceful relationship. It is to mark this spirit of friendship and peace that Premier League Academy players wrote haikus – short Japanese poems –  and folded origami paper cranes. 
On VJ Day, the Premier League shared a compilation video of academy players reading their Haikus and showcasing their paper cranes.

You can watch the video below:


Big Ideas will assemble the paper cranes into a wreath for the Children’s Peace Monument in the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park. School children and members of the public are also welcome to fold a crane. The wreath will be sent to Japan to be laid in Hiroshima.


The player’s haiku poems were also inspired by the experiences of WWII veterans. In the lead up to VJ Day, four new ‘Football Remembers Eleven’ films were released, where academy players interviewed former footballers who are also WWII veterans.

You can watch their films here: 

 

Charlie Chase with the Crystal Palace Academy players 
You can catch up on all our VJ Day online activity below: