If only. Even so, persimmons are still pretty fun. All around Koriyama, persimmon trees (kaki in Japanese) are still adorned with their jack-o-lantern–like fruit, which the crows and warblers (the link does not represent warblers here in Japan but is a recording of one of the most beautiful calls in the aviary world) squabble over and pick at.
While in Asia, mythology behind the orange fruit is anecdotal, the persimmon has been used to divine the weather, much like the rodent from near my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. According to extremely iffy sources, the shape of the cotyledon (the embryonic first leaves of a seedling) inside will predict the weather as such:
Spoon-shaped cotyledon — snowy winter
Knife-shaped cotyledon — icy winter
Fork-shaped cotyledon — warm winter
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find out exactly why the cotyledons form such shapes in their embryonic stage, though I did come across an article suggesting the persimmon as a potential source for hangover cure. (Incidentally, if you can enlighten me on the reason for these cutlery-inspired forms, I’d greatly appreciate it.)
So what did the persimmon say this year?
Sources vary on the meaning of the aforementioned shapes, but in any case, grab a bottle and settle in for a snowy winter nonetheless.