This 400-Year-Old Bonsai Tree Survived Hiroshima and Is Still Thriving Today

January 20, 2019 at 4:03 pm

Planted in 1625, this little bonsai tree survived the atomic bomb in Japan, and now sits in a museum in DC

A nearly 400-year-old bonsai tree survived the atomic bomb that killed 140,000 people and destroyed the entire city of Hiroshima around it.

The Japanese white pine, potted in 1625, belonged to a family that lived within two miles of the site where American forces dropped the bomb in 1945.

 Yamaki’s perfectly crafted trees, including the white pine, were protected in a walled nursery.

The family had cared for the tree for five generations before giving it the United States in 1975.

But the bonsai “was not given because of Hiroshima,” says Kathleen Emerson-Dell, who helps care for the tree at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. “It was a gift of friendship, and connection—the connection of two different cultures.”