Ginkgo tree with historic roots in Hiroshima is planted as a symbol of peace at IUPUI

A close-up of a sapling in soil with a label that reads 'ginkgo biloba -- Hiroshima 3-23-21'View print quality image
Planted in Taylor Courtyard, the sapling was grown from the seeds of 300-year-old tree that survived the atomic bomb of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Nestled on a small patch of ground in Taylor Courtyard at IUPUI, close to Democracy Plaza, stands a little ginkgo sapling that holds a message of peace and legacy.

On April 16, students and faculty of the Japanese Studies Program in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI were joined by a select group of invited guests to plant the sapling, which was grown from the seeds of a 300-year-old tree that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

Four peole stand around a ginkgo tree for a dedication ceremonyView print quality image
A dedication ceremony was held for the ginkgo sapling that grows a message of peace. Photo by Bekah Wuchner, Indiana University

The Green Legacy Hiroshima project seeks to promote peace across the world and educate generations about the consequences of nuclear weapons. IUPUI's participation in the project is a joint effort between the Japanese Studies Program and the Office of International Affairs.

"The Green Legacy Hiroshima was established in Japan to spread the seeds and saplings of Hiroshima's A-bomb survivor trees worldwide as a gesture of peacebuilding," said Keiko Kuriyama, IUPUI Japanese studies director. "We want to host the seeds from Hiroshima on campus and become active ambassadors to promote this peace message and educate the public about the consequences of nuclear weapons."

Kuriyama is the lead investigator of the IUPUI Hiroshima Green Legacy project. The project has secured several additional seeds and saplings from Japan with the intention of sharing the trees with other Indiana communities through secondary schools, colleges, churches, parks and arboretums.

The project falls in line with IUPUI's efforts to advance the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goal 16: to "promote peaceful and inclusive societies, provide access to justice, and build inclusive, effective and accountable institutions."