Hibaku jumoku (被爆樹木) are trees which survived America's nuclear attacks on Japan in 1945.

Following the bombings, American scientists declared that the cities would be barren and lifeless for 75 years. They were wrong. The following spring, new shoots began to grow from the destruction, inspiring the survivors to rebuild their homes.

Many of those surviving trees are still alive today.

On a loosely related note, in Shinto, any trees (or indeed any objects) can be considered yorishiro (依代), capable of attracting kami (神) spirits to inhabit them and becoming go-shintai (御神体). But some trees are inherently sacred.

These sacred trees are known as shinboku (神木). Traditionally, a Shinto shrine would be circled by sacred trees, forming a himorogi (神籬), or divine fence, to enclose the sacred space.

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Hmm. Just realised that anyone who didn't read the image captions on the two photographs in that first post may be uncertain why this is even loosely related.

If you're confused, you should probably do that.

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@Saikoubarry united states is evil, basically. This bombing happened in the last year of world war 2, and so far is the only wartime use of atomic weapons. Killed millions of civilians while Japan was already considering surrender.

@Saikoubarry Loosely speaking, the reason was world war 2.

But essays have been written on the precise reasons why. As far as I'm concerned, these bombings were war crimes.

@InvaderXan remind me so much the jasmine tree we had at home

@InvaderXan I feel so fortunate you share such interesting and beautiful information with us so regularly. Thank you. 💙

@InvaderXan I love when I see these little concordances between very distant cultures: Irish folklore also maintained a lot of sacredness for trees, some species in particular such as Rowan, Yew, and Oak were considered especially noble and protective. It is entirely possible that prechristian religion here involved gods who were materially manifest as trees: mythology held that the Tuatha Dé Dannan (possibly, the gods) turned themselves into trees when mankind came to Éire.

@InvaderXan And you will still find, though the Christian churches never explicitly said anything on the subject, that Yews and Rowans are frequently planted in churchyards and graveyards, and Rowans are often planted near gateways (they are believed by some to guard thresholds from evil spirits). It seems we share, albeit unconsciously or unofficially, in the tradition of planting holy trees on holy sites. Just don't tell the priest.

@cathal While I can't speak for Ireland, I know that Christian priests used to deliberately do this in what is now England to make their Churches more appealing to Pagans. Older churches are still full of carvings which are full of Pagan and Animistic themes, for much the same reason.

@cathal Fascinating.

Celebrating trees as being sacred is certainly widespread. I suspect it's a very primal part of human culture. Similar beliefs are found in various parts of Africa and Eurasia. I assume probably in the Americas too, though I don't know enough to say for certain.

@InvaderXan I remember seeing those trees in Hiroshima! It always amazes me how resilient plants are!!!

@InvaderXan (well not those particular ones, I mean other trees that had survived the nuclear bombs)

@nighteyesfool I knew what you meant, it's ok.

Hiroshima has something like 170 of these surviving trees growing. It feels like there's a moral in there about having strong roots...

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