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Green Legacy Hiroshima

Oberlin College Holds Event Introducing Hibakujumoku Saplings

Oberlin College recently held an event, titled Spring Thaw, to introduce students to the college’s second-generation hibakujumoku saplings. Oberlin received the wisteria, Chinese parasol (aogiri), and ginkgo saplings from Green Legacy Hiroshima in September 2015. The saplings are currently growing in the sheltered science building courtyard until they become big enough to weather the harsh Ohio winter and be replanted in a permanent home.

Professor Garvin speaks about the saplings.

Professor of Biology Mary Garvin gave a tour of the saplings, adding a scientific side to the hibakujumoku narrative. Attendees, who included college students, faculty, and staff, listened to Professor Garvin speak about how trees transition through seasons and about ginkgo’s robust and resilient qualities. Students were curious as to whether genetic research is being done on hibakujumoku. The group also discussed the symbolic importance of Hiroshima’s parasol tree, the parent of Oberlin’s saplings. The parasol tree is one of only two hibakujumoku in the Peace Park, and its saplings have been sent around the world as messengers of peace even before Green Legacy began its activities. Although ginkgo can handle Ohio’s climate, the more delicate parasol tree saplings need to be handled with greater care.

Attendees also watched a video introducing some of the hibakujumoku back in Hiroshima, shot in early spring by yours truly and which can be viewed below. The video included shots of the parasol and ginkgo parent trees, so that Spring Thaw attendees could see where they came from. The ginkgo, which leans in the direction of the hypocenter, was of particular interest.

Events like Spring Thaw aren’t the only way Oberlin students come into contact with hibakujumoku. Environmental Studies Professor Chie Sakakibara’s class Nature Culture Interpretation watched and discussed the Green Legacy Hiroshima introduction video, and then Professor Garvin introduced the students to the ginkgo saplings and explained how ginkgo’s biological properties helped them survive the bombing.

Spring Thaw attendees

Hopefully interest in hibakujumoku and Hiroshima will continue to grow at Oberlin.

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Outreach Ecology Works With Green Legacy Hiroshima In Photodocumentary Of A-bomb Witness Trees Of Hiroshima

In August of this year a team of photographers from OutreachEcology.com visited Hiroshima and worked with Green Legacy Hiroshima to produce a “spherical photodcumentary” of the a-bomb survivor trees that continue to flourish in the city.

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The aim of the project was to photograph some of the A-bomb survivor trees using Google Photo Sphere on an Android smartphone to create a 360 panoramic record of fifteen of the trees in their current locations. The resulting photo is in two dimensions, but can be “warped” by a computer and transformed into a sphere to provide the panoramic effect.

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The team were also keen to stress that the photos should be made available as a resource for projects relating to the a-bomb survivor trees as witnesses of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. One suggestion was that they could be used as part of a “then and now” project that places photos from the immediate post-war period alongside photographs of the same location taken today, such as the panoramic photo-sphere photos.

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With that in mind, we have made available the full report as a downloadable PDF file in the Resources page of this blog. The PDF file includes a download link to the complete archive of a-bomb-survivor tree photospheres and a link to the Google streetview archive of the trees as well as many other resource links of use to reasearchers.

Click Here to go to the Resources page.

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“Day Open Heart”: August 6th Marked At Tver State University Botanical Garden, Russia

Dr. Yurii Naumtcev, Director of the Botanical Garden of Tver State University, Russia, writes to inform us that on August 6th 2014 a ceremony was held in the botanical garden in memory of the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, 69 years ago.

The ceremony was attended by members of the Japanese community who live and work in Tver, and other Japanese visitors.

We are grateful to Dr Naumtcev for sending us this report, and especially so because he tells us that on that day, named “Day Open Heart,” a very special ginko-bilboa sapling was planted by a 12-year-old Japanese girl called Hitomi-san. It is the first sapling that the botanical garden has grown from seeds obtained from Hiroshima through the Green Legacy Hiroshima initiative. 🙂

Hitomi plants the ginko-bilboa sapling.

Hitomi plants the ginko-bilboa sapling.

Hitomi prepares to release a dove.

The full report of this event can be found at: http://garden.tversu.ru/den_otkritogo_serdca_eng.html

On behalf of Green Legacy Hiroshima we extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Yurii Naumtcev and the staff of the Tver State University Botanical Garden and all who participated in, supported and attended “Day Open Heart.”

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79% Of Single-Trunk A-bombed Trees In Hiroshima Lean Towards The Hypocenter

At the 76th UNITAR Hiroshima Public Session held in collaboration with ANT-Hiroshima on 23rd October 2013, it was revealed that most of the trees which survived the atomic bombing of 6th August 1945 lean towards the hypocenter.

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Professor Suzuki discusses his findings.

The discovery was made by Masakazu Suzuki, professor of landscape architecture at the University of Tsukuba, Nagisa Owaki, a student at the University of Tsukuba’s Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, and Chikara Horiguchi, a tree surgeon who lives in Hiroshima.

The researchers believe that the trees lean towards the hypocenter because the cells on the side of the trunk facing the hypocenter were damaged by the heat  and radiation of the bomb, causing that side grow more slowly than the other.

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The location of the studied trees, and the direction in which they lean.

Fifty-six of a total of about 170 survivor trees with single trunks up to two kilometers from the hypocenter were selected for the study. Of these 56 trees, twenty-seven were excluded from the study as they had either been relocated or the trunk had been too severely burned. Of the remaining twenty-nine trees, twenty-three leaned to some degree towards the hypocenter.

The findings were covered in a report by Sakiko Masuda, Staff Writer of the Chugoku Shinbun.

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Peace Seeds: A Video Letter To Green Legacy Hiroshima…

Here is a video message to Green Legacy Hiroshima. It is compiled of two video reports, one from Irkutsk Botanical Garden, Russia, and the other from Nichia Gakuin, Buenos Aires, Argentina, where “peace seeds” from trees that survived the atomic bombing have been planted and are now flourishing saplings…

In his message, Dr. Victor Kuzevanov, Director of the Botanical Garden of Irkutsk State University, say,

“Irkutsk city is the first place where plants of Green Legacy Hiroshima were received. Plants we have here are tangible rexources and at the same time they are very good messages for Russians and for people of the world of the dangers of nuclear disaster. We hope that working together we can protect our very sensitive, very fragile world from nuclear disaster.”

Julio Bernal, Project Coordinator of the “Semillas de Paz” (Seeds of Peace) project at Nichia Gakuin reads a message in Japanese thanking the people of Hiroshima for the donation and for sending peace and love to far distant South America.

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Green Legacy Hiroshima