Japanese orchardists have long been known for their dedication to producing fruit that is both delicious and visually stunning. One unique example of this is the mojie apple, a work of art that is created using a combination of sticky stencils and the power of the sun.
To create a mojie apple, growers start by pruning the apple trees in January to ensure that each blossom receives the right amount of sunlight. After the blossoms have been culled in the springtime, the remaining flowers are hand-pollinated using fluffy wands. Once the fruit begins to grow, a multilayered bag is placed around the apple to keep it safe from pests and to increase its photosensitivity.
Over the course of about a year, the apple grows inside the bag, shielded from the sun. When the bag is eventually removed, the fruit will be pale and creamy, ready to be transformed into a work of art. A sticky stencil is applied to the skin of the apple, outlining the desired image. Then, the apple is exposed to the sun, and the areas of the skin not covered by the stencil turn red, creating a beautiful and intricate design.
The designs themselves can vary widely, from a simple word or symbol to the likeness of a popular Japanese pop star. However, most mojie apples are created to represent a message of good fortune and prosperity, making them a popular choice for weddings and other celebratory events. They are more than just a snack – they are a thoughtful gift and a classy decoration.
Unfortunately, the tradition of cultivating mojie apples is slowly fading away. The labor-intensive process of creating these works of art is becoming less appealing to orchardists, and they are becoming harder to find. However, a few select orchards in Aomori prefecture still produce these lucky, tattooed apples, and they can be found in shops across Japan.
The mojie apple is a true testament to the creativity and dedication of Japanese orchardists. By using a combination of traditional techniques and modern technology, they have transformed a simple piece of fruit into a beautiful work of art that is sure to delight and impress anyone who sees it. While the tradition may be fading, the legacy of the mojie apple will continue to inspire and amaze for years to come.