Believe it or not, this picture perfect bonsai tree has been around for nearly 400 years. It was planted in 1625, making it now 391-years-old. But what also distinguishes it is that also survived the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. The tree belonged to the Yamaki family, who in 1945 lived just two miles away from the very spot where American forces dropped the bomb that killed an estimated 140,000 people. Somewhat amazingly, the tree and the Yamaki family survived the blast relatively unharmed.
This Bonsai is now housed in DC. It was a gift from bonsai master Masaru Yamaki in 1976. It started bonsai “training” 1625. The museum staff at the arboretum were unaware of the white pine’s connection to Hiroshima until 2001, when Yamaki’s grandsons explained its extraordinary history while visiting the collection.
It is now a symbolic Kathleen Emerson-Dell, an assistant curator at the museum, explained to National Geographic that the tree was given in connection the events in Hiroshima in 1945:
“It was a gift of friendship, and connection—the connection of two different cultures.”
“There’s some connection with a living being that has survived on this earth through who knows what.”
“I’m in its presence, and it was in the presence of other people from long ago.”
“It’s like touching history.”