Tokyobling's Blog

Mulberry Tree – Torigoe

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on June 3, 2013

Walking through Tokyo’s Taito Ward, in Torigo, next to the Kuramae and Asakusabashi districts I found this large mulberry tree spilling over the side of Torigoe Shrine. The ground was littered with dark red and black fallen mulberry fruit and as I picked some of them up to take a photo I got a lot of really sweet smelling juice on my fingers. Mulberry trees, or Morus, as it is really called, a quite famous in mythology and you’ll often find the Japanese name for the tree, kuwa (桑) in names of people and places. In the old days it was a very important tree since the harvested leaves were the only thing silk worms would eat. Mulberry trees were cultivated both in orchards and as garden trees in shrines and private homes all over Edo (the old name for Tokyo), and although I doubt there is even a single person using the mulberry trees to feed silkworms in Tokyo today, there are still a very few remaining trees left. I have heard of people harvesting mulberry trees on the banks of Arakawa river in central Tokyo using the fruit for jam and the leaves for tea.

Oh, and this was post number 1600! Hurrah!

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13 Responses

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  1. Marie said, on June 3, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I like the second picture very much, was those the berries you picked up and got sticky from?

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    • tokyobling said, on June 10, 2013 at 11:08 am

      It was! I couldn’t stand just leaving them to their fate on the hard ground! If I had more courage I would have picked them and made mulberry jam! (^-^;)

      Like

  2. tokyohamster said, on June 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Hahaa I think this might be the first time I’ve ever seen what a mulberry looks like!

    Like

  3. yoshizen said, on June 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I guess, may be 80% of Japanese doesn’t know the Mulberry tree, but 99% does know
    the word Kuwa-no-mi (Mulberry fruits) because of a song “Aka-tombo”which was dubbed
    as Second National Anthem ! (Many expat’ shed a tear when they sang this)
    So far I found 4 mulberry trees in here (but one was cut down) and until I found it in London,
    every year on late July, I took a train journey north to pick the berry. It was my annual ritual act.

    Like

    • yoshizen said, on June 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Oh, I forgot to congratulate your achievement. —- 1600 posts ? !
      Incredible. Well don. —– I’m loosing a steam even before 500. 😀

      Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 10, 2013 at 11:38 am

      It sounds like a great personal tradition! I didn’t know that song was so famous, it always struck me as a very complicated song to sing. It is a very sweet song though! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww7CqsQ5Pf4

      Like

      • yoshizen said, on June 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm

        Strangely you may think, I never thought those Japanese
        songs are in Youtube. —– it’s a discovery.
        Thank you Tokyobling !

        Like

        • tokyobling said, on June 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm

          If a song is sung but isn’t on Youtube – is it really sung at all? (^-^;)

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  4. C said, on June 4, 2013 at 5:05 am

    I just consolidated all scattered blogs from 2002: 750 posts, 150 in queue. Can’t imagine churning out twice that! What’s your secret?

    And as a kid, we sang “here we go ’round the mulberry bush” in elementary school. Just realized I never really thought about what a mulberry bush actually was until now. (At least this is cooler than learning the song I was obsessed about as a kindergartner was a Barry Manilow one — aiee)

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 10, 2013 at 11:41 am

      No secret, just put your nose to the grind and post! It becomes addictive during periods, but winter months are really tough…! It all depends on me going out and doing stuff, and the warmer it gets the more I go ouT! (^-^) Ah, that is a classic song! Didn’t know the title though!

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  5. […] a post by a prolific blogger Tokyobling, in which he talked about it […]

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