Birds of a Feather: Mango Harvested on Kagoshima Island Spitting Image by Ruddy Kingfisher

Guide to food and drink in Japan

Nori Takurō from Kakeroma Island in Kagoshima Prefecture recently made an unusual discovery while harvesting his mango. Among the bushels of ripe fruit was an unusually shaped mango that was the spitting image of the Rufous Kingfisher, a reddish-brown migratory bird.

The mango was typical in most respects, measuring about 13 centimeters long and weighing about 400 grams. The only distinguishing feature was that a portion near the stem had elongated into a shape reminiscent of a bird’s beak, which, coupled with the red and yellow hues of the fruit and the location of the stem exactly where would find an eye, make it a doppelganger for a rufous kingfisher. When Nori’s daughter Yoshitani Shōko shared a photo of the mango on social media, the avian fruit quickly caught the eye, including comments describing it as “cute”.

Yoshitani displayed the mango for a while at the liquor store she runs with her husband, but the family ended up eating the fruit. “It was delicious,” says Yoshitani.

“I was happy it didn’t sell out,” Nori said. “I harvested it just as the Rufous Kingfishers are starting to arrive on the island,” he noted with a chuckle.

(Originally published in Japanese on Kyō on August 17, 2022. Translated and edited by Title photo: A mango harvested on Kakeroma Island looks suspiciously like a rufous kingfisher. All photos © Nankai Nichinichi.)

[© Nankai Nichinichi/Kyōdoshi conference. All rights reserved.]


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