Wednesday, August 05, 2015
On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 am, bonsai master Masaru Yamaki was inside his home when glass fragments hurtled past him, cutting his skin, after a strong force blew out the windows of his home. The U.S. B-29 bomber called the “Enola Gay” had just dropped the world’s first atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima, at a site just two miles from the Yamaki home.
The Yamaki family survived although many were killed by the blast and their bonsai trees, which were protected by a tall wall surrounding the outdoor nursery, survived also. Yamaki donated the now 390-year-old white pine bonsai tree as one of 53 bonsais gifted by the Nippon Bosnai Association to the United States for its bicentennial celebration in 1976. It sits near the entrance of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the United States National Arboretum in Washington D.C.