The 388-Year Old Atomic Bomb Survivor

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Prominently displayed at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the United States National Arboretum in Washington, D. C. is the remarkable bonsai known as the Hiroshima Survivor. This rare White Pine (Pinus parviflora ‘Miyajima’) from Miyajima Island in Japan was part of a bonsai collection in Hiroshima when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city, 6 August 1945.

The tree and the man who cared for it—Masaru Yamaki—miraculously survived the blast. His home was located less than two miles from ground zero when the bomb was detonated but a tall wall protected him and his bonsai collection from the devastation. In 1976, he donated his prized bonsai as a gift to the American people to commemorate the United States bicentennial.

This amazing tree is 388-years old and has been in training since 1625—making it one of the oldest trees in the museum’s collection of 150 bonsai.

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