one of the survivors

the sign of survivalAll around Hiroshima there was, what they call, a-bombed trees. Trees that survived the bomb and still standing high and mighty.

Let me introduce you one of the trees that I met  – this tree is standing in the courtyard of Hiroshima castle. The castle had to be totally rebuilt after the blast. The bomb exploded 600 meters  over the city. The tenshu

“During the final months of World War II, the castle served as the headquarters of the 2nd General Army and Fifth Division , that made a castle, along with other military and industrial facilities in the city, a legitimate military target. As a result, it was destroyed in the atomic bomb blast of August 6, 1945, and for many years, it was believed the castle structure was blown away by the explosion that destroyed Hiroshima, but newly discovered evidence suggests the explosion only destroyed the lower pillars of the castle, and the rest of it collapsed as a result” (text; wikipedia.org)

The castle, also called the Carp Castle, was totally renovated in 1958 by using the same building methods as they did in the 15th century. a survivor

Within the castle walls, three trees survived the atomic bombing, a eucalyptus and a willow only  740m from the hypocenter, and a holly approximately 910m from the hypocenter.

Both specimens are preserved just beyond the Honmaru (castle walls). Also located inside the Honmaru is the concrete bunker from which the first radio broadcast out of Hiroshima following the atomic bombing was made. I missed that one – the bunker!

But I didn’t miss the eucalyptus and I felt so small and humble standing under this tree (it was massive) …. it shows that nature have a strength that nobody can stop. Look at those crocked branches – totally deformed by the blast.

Our hotel is situated along the Peace Boulevard – and in the green park area along the street there was quite a few “a-bomb” trees with their sign off survival. The hotel was 10 min walk from the Peace Memorial Park, so there would have been nothing left what so ever, where Mitsui Garden Hotel is today.

I think this with given the surviving trees their place and recognition – is such a beautiful thing. That’s one of the reasons why Hiroshima and I clicked so well. To show respect to the mightiness of nature and incorporate it in the new modern city.

When we visit the castle there was also an adorable and extremely noisy  group of boys and girls – that visit the tower, the Tenshu. A small ocean of pink and blue. They really made the castle grounds cute and joyful.

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.”
Dolly Parton

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22 thoughts on “one of the survivors

  1. I love this post Viveka. Those trees are so impressive. I’m glad they have done such work to help them retain their grace and strength. Anything that could survive such a horror should be encouraged to grow.

    • So true, Colleen – there is such a big respect and humbleness in what Hiroshima has done … with it’s city after the a-bomb. Maybe not the most interesting city in Japan, but it has a soul.

      • I don’t know of course, because I haven’t been there, but I ‘think’ if I was there and walking around the quietness of it, that I would feel like I was walking amidst thousands of souls.

  2. Love the kids, Vivi! They are our future. May they never see such things in their world! Amazing trees 🙂 Just back with heaps of washing as James is home before starting a new job. Just checking in to see that all’s well with you and I’ll visit later 🙂

    • Welcome back to the real world! Those kids was so funny to watch and they was so cute. Really joy! I hope that you have come through the washing by now. We have a fantastic day again … so I been on my bike. Birds are sing so I nearly got headache. Now it’s spring over here, but still a bit chilly.

      • Half way through James’ washing! You have no idea 🙂 Just sitting down for a bit before I iron some more (groogh! 😦 ) and hopefully watch Rafa 🙂 Girl’s night tonight, catching up on everyone’s news.

    • Yes, those adorable kids … was so noisy too … and everybody stopped when they passed by. A very happy bunch, but organized.
      The trees is all over the city and they have really given the love and tenderness. So lovely to see. The ground zero was just behind our hotel. It’s hard to understand what an impacted it really had. Even if pictures shows. I really like Hiroshima.

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