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Incredible 400-Year-Old Bonsai Tree That Survived the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Continues Growing

Resilient tree survives Hiroshima bomb and is gifted to the United States as a bonsai ‘olive branch’.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

In 1976 Japanese bonsai master Masaru Yamaki donated, to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington DC, a beautiful bonsai tree which now sits at the US National Arboretum.

It wasn’t until 2001, however, that the fascinating history of the tree’s life was revealed to the public.

In 1945 American forces dropped the atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, a catastrophic event which killed immediately 80,000 people and injured 35,000. The death toll however raises substantially when the radioactive aftermath is taken into account.

At the time of the bombing, this particular bonsai tree, having been planted in 1625, was in Yamaki’s home along with the Yamaki family, a mere two miles from the drop site.

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

By some great miracle both the Yamaki family and their precious tree survived the blast.

30 years later the donation of the tree by Yamaki to the United States was a gesture of friendship and forgiveness, a beautiful and powerful gesture which is greatly celebrated and emphasised at the museum where the tree rests.

If you want to see in person this resilient and unifying bonsai, a trip to Washington DC to the US National Arboretum, is a must!

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