The design of the Tree of Life on the plaques presented to the Zipang team is based on a bas-relief carving from ancient Mesopotamia.

The Tree of Life represented in carvings does not look particularly like a tree. It appears as a series of leafy rosettes arranged and constructed in a lattice pattern. To the Babylonians it was a tree with magical fruit which could be picked only by the gods. Dire consequences befell any mortal who dared to pluck from it. The oldest name of Babylon, Tin-tir-ki, meant 'the place of the Tree of Life'.