Hibaku Jumoku: The A-Bombed Trees That Survived Hiroshima
After the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945, with landscapes demolished, soils charred and radiation rampant, Dr. Harold Jacobsen, a scientist from the Manhattan Project, told the Washington Post that Hiroshima will be barren of life and nothing will grow for 75 years. But nature had other plans. The following spring, to everyone's surprise and delight, new shoots were seen springing up amongst the debris of the city. Those new saplings provided a powerful message to the survivors of the atomic bomb and gave them hope that they could rebuild their city.
Today, over six decades after the atomic bomb, Hiroshima is a green and vibrant modern city. Many of the trees that were planted in the city after the war were gifts from overseas donors and donors from other parts of Japan. However, hundreds of trees that are still standing today were actually around the vicinity when the bomb went off. Though broken and badly charred, they survived and soon were healthy again.
After the war, many of those trees were preserved in 55 locations within a 2km radius of the hypocenter. Today, they are officially registered as A-bombed trees. Each A-bombed tree is called a "Hibaku Jumoku" - survivor tree, and is identified by a name plate. According to the City of Hiroshima, there are about 170 survivor trees representing 32 different species.
The tree closest to the hypocenter is a Weeping Willow, which stands 370 meters away from the blast. Although the original tree was toppled by the bomb, its roots survived and new buds sprouted at the base. Another Weeping Willow stands near Seishonen and the Baseball Stadium, 450 meters away from ground zero. A partial list of A-bomb survivors can be found on this page.
The trees are located all over on the grounds of public buildings, temples, and shrines, and are under the care of the Hiroshima government. Seeds and seedlings from A-bombed trees are shared by the city and Hiroshima citizens with people in Japan and overseas, and these new trees are now growing in places all over the world.
One of the two pillars of the Sanno Shrine Torii was toppled by the A-bomb blast. The blast also blew away the branches and leaves of the two camphor trees in the precincts of the Shrine, which were then more than 500 years old. At that time, it was feared that the trees might wither and die; however, they gradually began to recover, and now are thickly covered with leaves and branches.
Trees are listed by their distance (in meters) from the hypocenter, location, and then tree name. All trees listed on this page will open onto a new browser window.
350m Honkawa Elementary School: Ailanthus Altissima (Tree of Heaven)| Chinese Parasol x 2(2nd generation)
370m Seishonen: Weeping Willow
410m Rai Sanyo Museum: Kurogane Holly
450m Children's Science Museum: Weeping Willow
490m Shirakami Shrine: Camphor | ?Kurogane Holly?
520m Seiju Temple: Elaeagnus
530m the Grove: Japanese Hackberry x 2 | Muku x 3 | Kurogane Holly x 5 | Japanese Persimmon | Japanese Bead
740m Hiroshima Castle: Eucalyptus
770m Hiroshima Castle: Willow
810m Central Park: Common Catalpa
890m Choen Temple: Japanese Fern Palm x 2
890m Honkyo Temple: Neolitsea Sericea | Peony x2
910m Hiroshima Castle: Kurogane Holly
940m Kinryuzen Temple: Kurogane Holly x 2
1010m Municipal Housing Estate: Camphor
1050m Hiroshima City Hall: Sakura
1100m Zensho Temple: Crape Myrtle
1110m Moto-machi Police Box: Camphor
1120m RCC: Camphor
1120m Law Court Apartments Camphor
1130m Hosen Temple: Ginkgo
1150m Nishihongan Temple: Japanese Fern Palm
1160m Tenma-cho: Camphor
1270m Tenma Elementary School: Plane x 4
1300m Peace Park: Chinese Parasol x2
1300m Sumiyoshi Shrine: Japanese Black Pine x 2
1360m Shukkeien: Muku
1370m Shukkeien: Ginkgo | Japanese Fern Palm (Giant Palm)
1420m Josei Temple: Ginkgo
1420m Kami-nobori-cho Junior High School: Japanese Hackberry | 2nd generation Chinese Parasol
1550m Kyu-banshoen: Camphor
1580m Tokuo Temple: Japanese Flowering Apricot | Maple
1590m Senryu Temple: Japanese Fern Palm x 2
1650m Senda Elementary School: Maidenhair
1690m Senda Elementary School: Pyramid Juniperx 2 | Japanese Fern Palm | Japanese Black Pine
1700m Hijiyama: Weeping Willow
1700m Komyoin: Citrus Nastudaidai x 2
1700m Senda Elementary School: Camphor x 4 | Kazuki Ibuki x 2 | Hackberry | Ginkgo
1720m Nigistu Shrine: Japanese Black Pine
1770m Kannon Elementary School: Kurogane Holly
1780m Myojoin Temple: Ginkgo | Japanese Fern Palm | Japanese Black Pine
1800m Ikari Shrine: Cherry Blossom | Persea Thunbergii
1800m Rai Sanyo Buntokuden Hall: Japanese Flowering Cherry x 2 (?or 3?)| Japanese Black Pine
1810m Tsuruhane Shrine: Japanese Black Pine | Camphor
1820m Hoshoin: Camellia | Tillia Miqueliana
1850m Kannon Elementary School: Camphor x 4
1850m Misasa Elementary School: Camphor
1850m Misasa Shrine: Camphor
1870m Koryu Temple: Camphor
1870m Shingyo Temple: Japanese Fern Palm
1900m Fukushima Nursery School: Pyramid Juniper
2030m Senda Park: Willow | ?Camphor?
2100m Yubin-chokkin-kaikan (Post office Savings Hall): Camphor(?s?)
2110m Yasuda School: Cherry Blossom | Japanese Black Pine
2150m Minami Elementary School: Weeping Willow
2150m Senda Elementary School: Japanese Black Pine | Chinese Parasol (2nd generation) | Ginkgo
2160m Anraku Temple: Ginkgo
2200m Peace Park: Crinum