This Bonsai Survived Hiroshima But Its Story Was Nearly Lost
The Japanese white pine weathered four centuries of history, including the atomic bomb.
A centuries-old bonsai that survived the bombing of Hiroshima is making worldwide headlines, but its caretakers wish the attention were focused more on the tree's role in peace than in war.
The Japanese white pine, which was potted 390 years ago, belonged to a family that lived within two miles of where American forces dropped the atomic bomb 70 years ago this week. The family had cared for the tree for five generations before giving it the United States in 1975.
As the anniversary of the bombing approaches, the tree's story has gone viral.
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