This Amazing Bonsai Tree Is a Hiroshima Survivor

It's now in the US, and nobody knew about it until 2001
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2015 1:01 PM CDT
The enduring bonsai tree.   (USDA-US National Arboretum)

(Newser) – One of the Hiroshima anniversary stories making headlines today tells the tale of a Japanese family's bonsai tree that survived the blast despite being just two miles from where the bomb hit. The best guess is that tree, now 390 years old, lived because it was up against a wall in the family's nursery and perhaps shielded, reports National Geographic. As it turns out, you can see it for yourself: A renowned bonsai master donated the tree to the National Arboretum in DC in 1976, though incredibly, its Hiroshima connection wasn't revealed until 2001, when two Japanese brothers visited to see how their grandfather's tree was doing, reports the Washington Post.

Some other great reads and videos about the anniversary:

  • What else survived: The BBC provides a short video tour of sites that survived the bombing, including a tram car now used by tourists.
  • Your hometown: PRI has a tool that allows you to see how things would turn out if the Hiroshima bomb were dropped on your hometown.
  • Changing attitudes: The Christian Science Monitor suggests that public opinion is shifting away from the notion that dropping the bomb was justified.
  • Why Hiroshima? NPR looks at why the city was picked.
  • Vet's regrets: NBC has the story of a 99-year-old Japanese-American who worked as a medical researcher for the American atomic bomb project and remains haunted by what he saw.
(Read more Hiroshima stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |