Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Random Picture #77
The Simpsons rather famously made the idea that Japan has square watermelons common knowledge. The thing is, I've lived in Japan for 22 years and I had never seen them in the flesh before. There may be some marketplace in the posher areas of Tokyo which routinely offers these melons, which are normal melons grown into this shape by growing them into a particular vessel. However, the idea that vendors on the streets are offering them or that the Japanese routinely buy them (which one might conclude from the Simpsons clip... and isn't popular culture our great educator?) is very far from the truth. I saw my first square watermelon in Japan earlier this week. It was a tiny little thing, about the size of a big grapefruit and kept in a protective acrylic box. Needless to say, it was not for sale but merely there to gain attention. So, if you are planning a trip to Japan and hoping to buy yourself a novelty melon, you might want to think again. Most of them are the round pedestrian variety.