Birds of a Feather: Mango Harvested on Kagoshima Island Spitting Image of Ruddy Kingfisher

Guide to Japan Food and Drink

Nori Takurō of Kakeroma Island in Kagoshima Prefecture recently made an unusual discovery while harvesting his mango crop. Among the bushels of ripe fruit was one unusually shaped mango that was the spitting image of the ruddy kingfisher, a reddish-brown migratory bird.

The mango was typical in most aspects, measuring about 13 centimeters in length and weighing some 400 grams. The only peculiar trait was that a portion near the stem had elongated into a shape reminiscent of a bird’s beak, which coupled with the fruit’s red and yellow hues and the location of the stem exactly where an eye would be, made it a dead ringer for a ruddy kingfisher. When Nori’s daughter Yoshitani Shōko shared a shot of the mango on social media, the avian-like fruit quickly gathered attention, including comments describing it as “cute.”

Yoshitani displayed the mango for a time at the liquor shop she runs with her husband, but the family eventually ate the fruit. “It was delicious,” declares Yoshitani.

“I was happy that it wasn’t sold,” said Nori. “I harvested it right around the time that ruddy kingfishers begins arriving on the island,” he noted with a chuckle.

(Originally published in Japanese on Kyō on August 17, 2022. Translated and edited by Banner photo: A mango harvested on Kakeroma Island has an uncanny resemblance to a ruddy kingfisher. All photos © Nankai Nichinichi.)

[© Nankai Nichinichi/Kyōdoshi conference. All rights reserved.]

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