24 Phoenix Trees (China Parasol Trees) Exposed
to the A-bomb
These trees stood in the courtyard of the Hiroshima
Post and Telecommunications Bureau (now, the Chugoku Regional Postal Services
Bureau). The courtyard was in Higashi-hakushima-cho, about 1.3 kilometers
from the hypocenter. Because no intervening object stood in the direction
of the hypocenter, they took the full force of the heat ray and blast, losing
all of their branches and leaves. The sides of the trunks toward the hypocenter
was burned and hollowed out.
Although the trees appeared to be dead, their branches put out buds the
following spring. Seeing this new life, people dazed by the tumultuous aftermath
of the atomic bombing and the war took courage.
Later, when the Chugoku Regional Postal Services Bureaus was rebuilt, they
were transplanted to its present location in May 1973. They remain alive,
a mute witness to the damage brought by the atomic bombing.
Though people worried that the transplanted phoenix trees would wither and
die, they continued to put out seeds. These seeds have been given to many
people in Japan and other countries. Offspring of this tree are thriving
around the world.