Writing Prompts

A to Z Challenge 04-01-21 Apple Art From Japan

Photo credit: Atlas Obscura

Welcome to Aomori Japan, where the centuries-old tradition of cultivating mojie apples has almost faded away due to it’s labor-intensive process. Before it disappears completely, let me show you what it is and what it takes to create these beautiful tattooed apples and where you can still find them.

In the apple orchards of Aomori, a prefecture of Japan, hidden among the branches and sheathed in small, waxy bags, dangle the mojie apples that with the help of light and a sun-blocking stencil, soon become beautiful pieces of art.

It takes a year, beginning in January, when the apple trees are pruned just so, to make sure each blossom receives sufficient sunlight. Orchardists must be patient and committed to see the whole process through. The next step is in the spring, after the blossoms have been culled, growers have to hand-pollinate each remaining flower with fluffy wands.

Multi-layered bags are then placed around the fruit once it begins to grow, to keep it safe from pests and sun, which increases it’s photosensitivity. After the bags are removed, the fruit will be emblazoned with a sticky stencil outlining the desired image, so that only the surrounding area of the apple skin turns red.

These works of art have designs of all kinds, from a single word to a Japanese pop star’s face, yet the most popular depict symbols of good luck or prosperity. They are often given as wedding gifts and were intended as classy decor or a thoughtful gift rather than the traditional on-the-go snack.

Luckily, you can still find these tattooed apples in a few orchards in Aomori prefecture and in shops across Japan.

Would you eat one, or keep it as a memento? Would you invest the time and have the patience to create these beautiful works of art? Maybe someone, somewhere out there will keep the tradition alive!

A to Z Challenge badge

A sad note on this, the first day of the A to Z Challenge. This challenge is now going to be even more “ahem” challenging for me, because, in addition to my other commitments, I have now lost the classic editor. I hate the new editor and I implore WordPress to bring it back, please!!

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13 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge 04-01-21 Apple Art From Japan

  1. Lisa says:

    Those are amazing! I had not known about this apple art before. I guess it would be a waste not to eat it, but photograph it well before hand. Even if you saved it, it would wrinkle up and be unidentifiable. I wouldn’t be able to do it, not for lack of patience, but because I am a failure at keeping healthy fruit trees!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another reason why I want to go to Japan! Those are so beautiful!

    I have loved all your entries from ‘L’ to ‘A’.

    Hopefully you’ve found how to get to the classic editor now that we have this more cumbersome blockhead editor.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t see the actual photo. I see the photo credit, but not the photo. I hate when WordPress changes things just before the challenge. That happened to me twice (which is why I moved to Blogger).

    Love your use of a in this.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a problem! I had no idea that was happening with others trying to see my blog, I knew when I would go back to old posts, the pictures sometimes weren’t there. Grrr 😡
      I’ll see if I can fix it, but if I can’t, I may have to send the link to the specific article I took it from. Thanks for reading and putting on this challenge! It’s been so much fun!!

      Like

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