These days, farmer Hiroichi Kimura from Kumamoto Prefecture can wake up every morning with a smile knowing that he accomplished something quite unique with his life – and that is to grow the world’s first watermelon in the shape of a heart. We know that you might have heard of square watermelons – another product of Japanese ingenuity – or those expensive black watermelons from Hokkaido, but they seem so common now when you imagine Kimura’s watermelon shaped in the universal symbol for love.
It started nondescriptly enough, as Kimura was minding his business of growing regular round watermelons. A neighbor, complimenting the red flesh of Kimura’s watermelons innocently commented how it would be cool to have one that was shaped like a heart, or if that would even be possible. Kimura’s curiosity was piqued, and he started his research on whether it could be done. Kimura says that it was not at all easy, his research causing him many late nights reading books on growing techniques and developing his heart-shaped watermelon mold. But Kimura wasn’t just aiming for a heart-shaped watermelon; he was aiming for one that tasted good as well. And so he looked at cultivation methods, soil conditions, atmospheric temperature, and moisture levels as well. For Kimura, all the long days and nights of trial and error was worth it.
Kimura’s heart watermelons are a product of years and years of research. And not only do they have that unique shape, Kimura’s heart watermelons also taste good, as his customers and even the farmer himself would testify. People say that the heart watermelons have a crunchy consistency that gives way to pleasantly sweet juices. Upon eating of the melon’s red flesh, one is left with a mellow sweet aftertaste that lingers on the palate. Kimura himself says that the taste was better than he had imagined. When asked what his motivation was for his dedicated work, Kimura’s answer is as simple as it is heartwarming. “I want my customers to eat something delicious,” Kimura explains.