Hidden on the far Upper West Side of Manhattan, just outside New York’s Buddhist Church stands a little miracle. At 13 feet tall, perhaps it’s not so little, but the story behind this bronze figure is pretty remarkable.
The statue features the likeness of Shinran Shonin (a Buddhist monk who is credited with developing a key doctrine within the religion) and originally stood in Hiroshima, at a site only 1.5 miles from the 13 kiloton atomic bomb detonated over the city on August 6, 1945. Despite being in the direct path of the explosion and receiving the full force of the bomb, it stood tall and incurred minimal damage.
In 1955 the statue was brought to New York to be a testimonial to the atomic devastation and as a symbol of lasting hope for world peace.