[Hidden Wonders of Japan] Square-Shaped Watermelon Production in Full Swing
Here’s a riddle: it looks more like a dice, but in reality it is a fruit.
Those who have visited Japan probably knows what I’m talking about.
You might previously have seen the square-shaped watermelon, which is a popular element in the aesthetic section of supermarkets.
On July 3, shipments of the dice-shaped fruit started from the JA Kagawa Fudeoka Shipping Center at Zentsuji in Kagawa Prefecture.
Each side of a square watermelon is about 18 centimeters long. Before the fruit is ripe, it is put into plastic containers for about 10 days, where it continues to grow and achieve its curious shape.
Apparently, the fruit it not very sweet and therefore is not ideal for eating, but it’s surprisingly popular as a decoration and ornament.
The practice of raising square watermelon started 50 years ago as a way of garnering publicity for the region. Today, there are still nine farmhouses which produce the fruit. Each precious fruit costs more than ¥10,000 JPY (about $93 USD). It is expected that 600 will be raised between now and the end of July.
The art of making this fruit has even received international attention, gaining “Geographic Indication Protection” status in June 2019, and thereby being recognized as a traditional craft connected to the territory.
Dice-shaped watermelon, anyone?
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(Click here to read the related article in Japanese.)
Author: JAPAN Forward
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