The Atomic Buddhist.

Atomic Buddhist Statue

Field review by the editors.

New York, New York

Fifteen feet tall, made of bronze, this statue of Buddhist teacher Shinran Shonin shows him wearing a big peasant hat and holding a wood staff. There are many, similar statues of Shonin around the world, but this one stood only 1.5 miles from the center of the nuclear blast that leveled Hiroshima in 1945. It's survival -- unscathed, from all appearances -- was regarded as miraculous at the time.

Ten years afterward, a Japanese industrialist took the statue and shipped it to New York City, where it was erected outside of a storefront Buddhist temple on Manhattan's posh Upper West Side. It's still there today. According to its plaque, the bombproof Buddhist serves as "a testimonial to the atomic bomb devastation and a symbol of lasting hope for world peace," although not many people know about it.

Atomic Buddhist Statue

331 Riverside Dr., New York, NY
On the east side of Riverside Drive, between 105th and 106th Sts, in front of a Buddhist temple.
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September 30, 2020

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