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The Tanenashi Persimmons of Wakayama, Japan: Video Introduction

This video, titled "Preventing Fall Fatigue! Wakayama's Tanenashi Persimmon! The First Persimmon Recognized as a Japanese Superfood!" (秋バテ対策に!柿史上初のジャパニーズスーパーフード『和歌山のたねなし柿』とは?), was uploaded by "News TV."

The persimmon, an ancient Japanese fruit, has long been a favorite of the Japanese people. Persimmons are said to have originated in East Asia, including China and Japan, and were introduced to the West from Japan, hence the scientific name "kaki," the Japanese word for persimmon. Experts have also noticed that the persimmon is great for combating fall fatigue! Highly nutritious, the persimmon is thought to be beneficial for beauty and health, and in particular, Wakayama's tanenashi persimmon has been certified as a Japanese Superfood. Check out this video to broaden your knowledge of persimmons!

What is Fall Fatigue? Symptoms and Causes

Image of a woman feeling unwell
Photo:A woman feeling unwell

The term fall fatigue refers to the feeling of sluggishness and inability to recover from fatigue despite the gradual easing of the summer heat and gradual improvement in overall comfort. The main symptoms are loss of appetite, fatigue, lack of sleep, stiff shoulders, and rough skin. It's said to be caused by a disturbance in the autonomic nervous system due to the repetitive changes in temperature from late summer to early autumn, including changes in outside temperatures and temperature changes between warm days and cold nights.
[Video] 0:29 - What is Fall fatigue?

Persimmons – The Best Medicine For Fall Fatigue

Image of persimmons

Persimmons are so rich in nutrients that there's even a Japanese proverb that goes "When the persimmons change color, the doctors turn blue." This is alluding to the fact that once persimmons are in season, doctors are no longer necessary because people stop getting sick thanks to eating them.

The simple sugars contained in persimmons are quickly absorbed and easily converted into energy, and help the body recover from fall fatigue.
[Video] 0:34 - Persimmons Are Effective for Recovering From Fall Fatigue

Persimmons also contain high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, and polyphenols. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, a protein that makes up the body's skin, and is the source of persimmon's beauty benefits. It also has antioxidant properties, is effective in preventing arteriosclerosis and aging, and boosts the immune system. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin and mucous membranes, strengthens resistance, and has anti-aging effects.

In addition, polyphenols called "persimmon tannins" play such an important role in beauty and health that they can be expected to thin the blood, lower blood pressure, reduce increases in blood sugar levels, and rejuvenate blood vessels. In addition to tannins, catechins and flavonoids also have detoxifying and antibacterial effects, improve sensitivity to cold, and eliminate prolonged fatigue and sluggishness.

Persimmon Season in Japan & Popular Varieties

Image of persimmons on display at a supermarket
Photo:Persimmons on display at a supermarket

In general, persimmons are said to be in season from fall to winter, around September to December in Japan. Some persimmons grown in plastic greenhouses are available at markets from summer (July-August), but major stores in Japan start selling them around mid-September, when outdoor-grown persimmons begin to be harvested.

In October, shipments from major production areas increase, and distribution peaks from October to November. There are early and late harvest varieties, so you can expect to find persimmons in many supermarkets in Japan until roughly December.

The three most popular persimmon varieties in Japan are, first, the popular fuyu persimmon known for its perfect sweetness, which is the most popular and top-produced persimmon in Japan. Harvesting of fuyu persimmons begins around November in most production areas. While the distribution of persimmons as a whole is highest from October to November, the fuyu persimmon season is slightly later, from November to December. Also known as the "king of persimmons," the fuyu persimmon reaches peak flavor in late fall and winter, when the weather starts getting chilly.

The second most popular persimmon in Japan is the Hira tanenashi persimmon. This persimmon is characterized by its lack of seeds. Harvesting begins around mid-October in Japan, and the best time to eat them is from late October to early December.

The third variety is the Tonewase persimmon from Nara Prefecture, which is closely associated with persimmons, as exemplified by the haiku

As I bite into a persimmon
A bell rings
Horyuji Temple

- Masaoka Shiki

※Horyuji being a famous temple in Nara prefecture
It is a mildly sweet variety, and is recommended to be shipped after removing the astringency with alcohol, etc., as it's not a sweet persimmon, but an astringent persimmon.

A Delicious Way to Enjoy Persimmon, a Fruit Synonymous With Autumn in Japan

Image of cutting persimmons
Photo:Cutting persimmons

Persimmons can be eaten as sweet persimmons or dried persimmons, and there are a variety of different ways to eat them. Persimmons have a strong image of being eaten as a dessert in Japan, but we would like to introduce a recipe for preparing persimmons in a dish to enjoy the flavors of autumn. You can enjoy persimmons as a snack or side dish.

■Stir-Fried Persimmon and Pork
Pear - 1
Pork belly - 250g
Japanese mustard spinach - 1/2 a bag
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp.
Cooking sake - 2 tbsp.
Soy sauce - 2 tbsp.
Sliced cayenne pepper - A pinch

[How to Make]
1. Peel and cut persimmons into small pieces.
2. Wash the komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) lightly and cut into 3 cm strips.
3. Cut the pork belly into bite-size pieces.
Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, add pork belly and fry.
When the meat browns, add komatsuna and sauté lightly.
4. When the komatsuna becomes soft, add the cut persimmon and seasonings and stir-fry.
When the seasonings are well mixed, serve on a plate.

Summary of Tanenashi Persimmons, the Japanese Super Food

Persimmons are full of nutrients and have great potential for beauty and health. When checking the efficacy of its ingredients, it was even deemed a superfood! You'll probably want to try some delicious persimmons after reading this article. Have a healthy and splendid autumn with the power of this ancient Japanese fruit!

Written By
Last Updated : Oct. 29, 2022
山田コウスケ(Kosuke Yamada)
Born in Fukuoka Prefecture. I enjoy grabbing drinks and making travel plans.
The Tanenashi Persimmon – A Japanese Superfood to Help Combat Fall Fatigue! Learn About the Delicious Fruit From Wakayama That's Full of Vitamins and Nutrients!
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