Seventy two years ago today America was in-between the bombing of Hiroshima and the yet to come attack on Nagasaki. The Hiroshima anniversary was the past Sunday while Nagasaki would be devastated tomorrow. In Hiroshima there was a park, Shukkeien Garden which was very near to ground zero. In the park was the tree, a Gingko. These trees, which come in male and female are living fossils from the age before dinosaurs and is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others going extinct in the great tree die-off. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, it survives today all over the planet.
The Shukkeien garden gingko after Hiroshima
Fossil of the Permian Age
survivor of the frost
the great tree holocaust
do you remember Pangaea?
All your family gone
yet still you stand
a silent guardian;
living witness to the die off.
Survivor of the heat and light
the visit of Enola Gay
thy burned and twisted branch still lived;
a blossom for another day.
And here you thrive
thy saffron yellow cloak in fall
a testament to your will
a hopeful lesson to us all.
“Hiroshima Shukkei-en Garden – 縮景園 : Built in 1620 at the order of Asano Nagaakira, a powerful feudal lord (Daimyo) of the Hiroshima clan, the Shukkein-en garden later served as the villa of the Asano family during the Meiji period. Shukkeien, which can be translated into English as “shrunken-scenery garden”, includes valleys, mountains and forests represented in miniature all across the garden.
It was donated by the Asano family itself to Hiroshima Prefecture in 1940. Unfortunately, lying pretty close to ground zero during the nuclear attack on the city, the garden suffered extensive damage and later became a refuge for the victims of the war. It was only after a long renovation process that the garden reopened to the public in 1951.
Note that only the garden stone bridge featured on this video was still standing after the nuclear blast.