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dVerse – haibun – Hiroshima –Hibakujumoku

gingko tree leaves

Looking way back at the Jurassic period ginkgo trees flourished across the Asian continent. Over millions of years, their fossils began to diminish. Two and a half million years ago, only a “handful of ginkgo lineages” remained, in the forests of Central China.

At some point 1300 to 1400 trees made their way to Japan. In 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake set Tokyo ablaze. It was mostly the ginkgo that survived of the trees. Sixteen thousand were planted across the country, including a handful in Hiroshima.

In August, 1945, the ginkgo trees were fully-leafed. The A-bomb in Hiroshima scorched the life of the trees and every living thing. The roots of the ginkgo gathered nutrients through the fall. One hundred seventy hibakujumoku still stand, within 1.3 miles of the blast center.

Hell rained death while
ginkgo shielded Kamis
hope for tomorrow.




  1. Kami (Japanese: , [kaꜜmi]) are the spirits or phenomena that are worshipped in the religion of Shinto. They can be elements of the landscape, forces of nature, as well as beings and the qualities that these beings express; they can also be the spirits of venerated dead persons.

  2. Hibakujumoku are A-bombed trees that survived the blast.

  3. The facts for the paragraphs were found here.  The image also came from there.

Frank J. Tassone is the host of dVerse today.  Frank says:
Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Last year, [dVerse] commemorated this memorial for Haibun Monday (August 6, 2018). Just like last year, the city of Hiroshima will once again hold its annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony: While the memorial commemorates the fallen, it is also an occasion to reflect on hope. Let us again write our own haibun to commemorate Hiroshima! This year, however, let us focus not on despair of nuclear holocaust, but on hope born of rising from the ashes!


32 thoughts on “dVerse – haibun – Hiroshima –Hibakujumoku

    1. I’ve been a fan of ginkgo for close to 25 years, which started when my interest in daoism started so have learned quite a bit about them along the way. The Kami and lots of other “things” about Japanese culture I’ve learned through anime and via my son and his wife (his wife is big into Japanese culture.) Thank you for your kind words and your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Glenn. When I first read about the temple ginkgo surviving after the blast, it shocked and inspired. As I learned more about the trees and how many more survived and how close they were to ground zero, a profound sense of hope flooded me. The trees paved the way for the people to go on, as they held the spirits and hearts of the people.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. NYC is Blessed! They are sparse around here. There is a stand of mature ginkgo in Chicago’s Botanic Gardens. The first time I saw it was like seeing a beam of light coming direct from heaven. To be under it and looking up to see the light shining through the green… I have 4 ginkgo on my property, one bought from the nursery in 2012 and 3 started from seed. I had one in a half-barrel container for years in the city, but when my ex- and I split he finagled it away from me when he bought another house. My sons say it’s still alive 🙂

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          1. I know it’s so annoying. WordPress won’t let me have a separate avatar. You have to follow it so it shows up in your reader. When I have time, I’m going to see if my techie daughter can figure out another solution.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That is aggravating not to have a separate avatar. I do follow you on both blogs and am able to see you in the reader and at prompts but I would like to be able to just go to your blog to check if I’ve missed a post.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. An interesting and informative read, Jade. As you may remember, spirits and trees appeal to me, as does etymology – I’m amazed that there is a Japanese word for A-bombed trees that survived the blast and that gingko trees are so old and can survive pretty much everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An excellent write. Yes, we learned of the ginkgo when we visited Hiroshima not too long ago. We were told that people said nothing would grow there again for 100 years. They were proven wrong. And “hope springs eternal from the human breast” as they gather today to pray for everlasting world peace.

    Liked by 1 person

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