2016年10月11日

Hazuka plant

(Physalis alkekengi)

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The “Chinese Lantern” plant was cultivated in Japan ever since the Edo period as a medicinal plant, believed to relieve fever and ease the discomfort felt by pregnant women. The belief originates in a 200 years old story that took place in the Seisho-ji Temple from Shiba (Minato-ku, Tokyo)

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These Hozuki(Physalis alkekengi) fruit are a bright orange color and also nicknamed Japanese or Chinese lanterns.

Like the ladies of Prince Genji’s court, the hozuki (Physalis alkekengi) hides its beauty behind a veil. The veil is an unusual, lantern-shaped pouch, which protects the berry. It forms from the small “cap” of sepals after the flower has faded. At this time of year, you can find pretty white flowers at the top of the plant, as well as green lanterns that have already formed toward the base. As the fruit matures, the lanterns change to a lovely orange-red color, and by winter some fade to lacy “skeletons” revealing the fruit inside. The fruits are sometimes called “winter cherries” in English. In Japan they were used to make small toys and a tonic (they contain vitamin C).


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Abundant and easily available physalis alkekengi (also known as strawberry or ground cherries)has inspire Mr. Keisuke Kuroki, a resident of Nishimera Village for making magical lanterns. He also teaches it to the visitors of Nishimera Village. It is worth mentioning that our Company Ai-road Inc. plans these exciting trips to encourage visitors to appreciate the beauties of Nishimera village and talents of its villagers. I tried making this stunning lantern with my husband during our trip in Nishimera. Every time we look at these wonderful art works we made, it reminds us of our wonderful trip and the sweet memories we made in there.

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By: Ateffa Jalali

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