News-starved residents of Tokyo are currently going crazy over the appearance of a ‘daikon’ (Japanese radish) in the city’s Higashikurume district, the robust root vegetable miraculously pushing its way through the asphalt by the side of a road.
The radish’s emergence in an urban area without a hint of greenery has needless to say surprised many locals, with a Government official speaking for the majority by excitedly exclaiming, “I have no idea how the seed got here.” Yet sporting leaves that span the width of a human hand, and boasting a respectable diameter of 4 centimetres, the dynamic daikon can even be seen from the road, immeasurably brightening the morning trips of thousands of commuters.
This daikon dementia follows a similar incident in Aioi, Hyogo Prefecture, where an equally courageous radish recently appeared – local residents even going as far as naming it ‘Dokonjo Daikon’ (gutsy radish). A heartwarming tale that ultimately ended in tragedy, as a callous criminal sliced off the top of the vegetable; however its remains were rushed to a nearby agricultural research centre, where officials are still trying to bring it back to life. Town spokesman Jiro Matsuo tearfully stating, “People discouraged by tough times were cheered by its tenacity and strong will to live.”
Yet if the unthinkable happens and the daikon dies, it will continue to live on, its story having been painstakingly immortilised in a 48-page book; a project in no way designed to cash in on the radish’s tragic story, with an Aioi Municipal Government official claiming that with ‘Ganbare Dai-chan’ (Hang in there, little daikon), “We want to reproduce the radish and add a new page to its history.” Author Ayumi Miyazaki, who laboured for a full two months to produce the masterpiece, also adding that she hopes the book will leave a lasting impression of the radish as it grew through the asphalt.