What is the Origin of Suika-wari or Watermelon Cracking of Japan?

I know I just wrote about watermelon the other day, but here is another watermelon episode to share with you, which is about watermelon cracking of Japan!

Suika-wari or Watermelon cracking is a typical summer entertainment for both children and adults in Japan.  Typically, you will stand a bit far from a watermelon on the ground, and try to split the watermelon blindfolded and using a stick.  Even if you check the position of the watermelon carefully before being blindfolded, you are unlikely to hit watermelon properly.  How about myself?  Yes, I have done watermelon cracking for a few times myself when I was a child and also after reaching legal age.  Shamefully (or like everybody else:-p), I have never hit actual watermelon properly…  But it doesn’t matter as that is a fun bit of watermelon cracking!


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By the way, what is the origin of this entertainment, do you think?

Well, according to an article, it seems there are several stories behind it, but nobody is sure which one is correct one.

But according to an official rule & manner book of the Japan Suika Wari Association (!), it seems to be originated from a kind of training of sword fighting.


Wow, that sounds pretty cool, isn’t it? 🙂

But due to the book’s comical nature, the writer of the article I found seems to be not sure if this is the actual origin.

So is there any other story?

It seems other stores include following; a samurai general, Hideyoshi Toyotomi started this for an entertainment of his castle-warming (!) party; it is for a repose of a samurai, Kojiro Sasaki; and it came from Africa to wish for a good harvest of watermelon???

Ow, I cannot really tell which one is true (><)!  But let me guess…  Entertainment for Hideyoshi Toyotomi…  Possible.  The repose… hmn, I’m not sure about this..  African origin…  Yes, the fruit seems to be an African origin… but yes, I bet on sword fighting practice, shall I??  Maybe?


FYI, watermelon cracking nowadays is typically carried out on a big plastic sheet, so once it is cracked at least into a half, we cut them into smaller pieces to eat after the event.  So we are not wasting food. (of course, if people keep hitting with not enough powers, it could be a bit of mess…  skill required!)


What do you think about today’s article?

Please let me know what you think.


Source: web R25


This is JAPAN Style!