An Almost 400-Year-Old Bonsai Tree’s Resilience: A Living Relic of Hiroshima’s History

The ancient Miyajima White Pine tree is a living remnant from a bygone period. This bonsai tree, planted in 1625, has withstood the sands of time, lasting for over 400 years. But what actually distinguishes it is its perseverance and will to survive in the aftermath of the world's first nuclear bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

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The ancient Miyajima White Pine tree is a living remnant from a bygone period. This bonsai tree, planted in 1625, has withstood the sands of time, lasting for over 400 years. But what actually distinguishes it is its perseverance and will to survive in the aftermath of the world’s first nuclear bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

This centuries-old bonsai, given to the United States in 1976 by bonsai artist Masaru Yamaki, is a symbol of peace and goodwill between two nations. Yamaki and his family were respected bonsai growers at the time of the bombing, residing barely two miles distant from the blast. Despite the fact that the bomb killed 140,000 people and destroyed the city, the bonsai tree and the Yamaki family remained undamaged, thanks to the high walls of their home.

Image Source: Reddit

The Yamakis diligently cared for the bonsai tree throughout the years, handing it on to the United States as a “gift of peace.” The plant’s amazing history was uncovered in 2001, when Yamaki’s grandsons visited the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington, D.C. While the museum focuses on the bonsai’s position as a symbol of friendship, its resilience and historical significance cannot be overlooked.

Boeing B-29A-45-BN Superfortress 44-61784 6 Bombardment Group G 24 BS – Incendiary Journey June 1,1945 mission to Osaka,Japan. – Image Source: U.S. Air Force

One can’t help but sense a link to the past when in the company of this living organism, marveling at its capacity to endure and grow in the face of adversity. The Miyajima White Pine tree is a wonderful sight to see, a monument to the strength of nature and the human spirit.

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