The Atomic Bombing Survivor Trees

 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

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