This white pine bonsai planted in 1625 is still growing today. Living for more than 400 years, this tree has seen a lot of history. It was given to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum by bonsai master Masaru Yamaki in 1976 as a gift of friendship between the two nations. Today, it can be visited at the United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
Little did the Arboretum knew that this bonsai had a secret: the Yamaki family—and this bonsai—survived the Hiroshima bombing in 1945. It was only in 2001 that this bonsai’s history was revealed to the Arboretum when Yamaki’s grandsons visited the collection.
Kathleen Emerson-Dell, assistant curator at the museum said that there’s a connection between a living being that’s been on Earth for so long and all the history it has been through. She said that it’s as if you can feel someone’s presence from long time ago. It’s like touching history, she said.