Houkisugi, a 2,000-year-old cedar, towers 45 meters above a bluff overlooking Nakagawa Onsen in the Tanzawa mountains of Kanagawa Prefecture. The tree, born about the time of Julius Cesar’s reign, measures 18 meters around at the root and 12 meters at eye level.
Locals revere the tree for having halted the spread of a conflagration in 1904. The tree still bears the scars of the fire. It is also credited with stopping a landslide in 1972.
According to Wikipedia, the name “Houkisugi” may refer to a place name, or to the fact the tree resembles a broom (houki). Houkisugi was designated a National Monument in 1934.