This 400-year-old bonsai tree survived the Hiroshima nuclear disaster.

It was planted in 1625 and is still alive today.

The ancient Miyajima White Pine tree sits humbly in the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington, D.C., as a living relic of a day that changed the world and the nature of warfare forever almost 80 years ago. Yes, aside from its age, this unique plant is also notable for producing the world’s first nuclear bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Masaru Yamaki, a bonsai master, presented the centuries-old tree to the United States in 1976. Yamaki and his family were among the most respected bonsai growers in Japan and the world at the time of the Hiroshima bombing. They lived only two miles from where the bomb was detonated by American forces, kіɩɩіпɡ 140,000 people and causing long-term damage to the city. However, the bonsai was unharmed.

Why is this so? The Yamakis’ house, on the other hand, had thick walls to protect a large nursery of yellow-green pine needle bonsais. It was the same structure that eventually protected the trees from the atomic bomb’s eeee heat and аdiаto. Although not all of the bonsais were saved, this one did. And so did the entire Yamaki family, who were all inside during the exрoo.
The Yamakis then cared for the tenacious tree until 1976, when they presented it as a gift to the United States — the very country that dropped the bomb. Yamaki only mentioned the bonsai as a “gift of peace” as he handed it over.

The plant’s connection to Hiroshima was not revealed until 2001, when Yamaki’s grandsons paid a surprise visit to the collection. Although the museum does not promote this aspect of bonsai history, instead emphasizing its role as a gift of friendship between the two countries, it has recently added this information to its website.

“There’s some connection with a living being that has survived on this earth for who knows how long,” says Kathleen Emerson-Dell, the museum’s assistant curator. “I’m in its presence, and it’s been in the presence of other people for a long time. It’s as if you’re touching history.”

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