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A year or two ago, Japanese square shaped watermelon were big in the news. Not only were they easier to ship, but they were more expensive too, and that catches anyone’s attention. Today, I read an article over at Megaijin, that talked about triangular shaped watermelon (even more expensive, but more difficult to ship, I imagine). This sparked my interest, so I decided to dive a little deeper. You’ll be amazed at the weird watermelon-related things I’ve come across!

Cube-Shaped Watermelon

First, let’s take a look at the original strange Japanese watermelon: “The Cube.” This was an expensive solution to the difficulty that people had putting a big round watermelon in their refrigerator (why refrigerate, though, I say eat it all!).

Supposedly, only around a 1000 of these are produced in a year, though I feel like that number may have increased. It’s garnered notoriety amongst the rich (as well as several visiting political figures), and is pretty darn expensive. As you can see above, 2008 version goes for around $119 USD, which is cheap compared to some of the other watermelons we’re going to get into. Who knows how much shipping will cost you. Here’s another photo, from Choo.

I really wonder how the square watermelons taste. Is it just the novelty of the shape that’s selling them, or are they particularly juicy? Either way, if I was Scrooge McDuck I’d definitely replace my simming pool of gold coins.

Oh yeahh, check out those photoshop skillz (sarcasm)

Heart Shaped Watermelon

So now we get a little more expensive, and a lot more useless. I suppose this could shape up (haha, get it?) to be an expensive romantic gift of some sort, but I think buying a week’s worth of baseball tickets would be more fun.

A heart-shaped watermelon will run you around $237 USD, a price that will end up breaking your…you know. I’d suggest saving your money and spending it on UFO catchers.

Pyramid and Triangle Shaped Watermelon

Now, here’s where I get a little confused. Let’s start with the Triangle shaped watermelon, because, apparently, there’s some sort of big difference between triangle and pyramid shapes. Aren’t they just different words for triangle?

These “triangle watermelon” will run you the same as a heart watermelon, around $237 USD. I’m not sure what the purpose of these watermelon are, besides the novelty. Square watermelons, sure, they ship nicer and are easier to put in the fridge. Triangle watermelon? They just seem hard to ship and hard to eat.

Now, how about the pyramid shaped ones? From what I can see, they are almost exactly the same. The only difference? The ridiculous price.

Ever considered paying $950 USD for a watermelon? Well, now’s your chance. They only make a few of these a year (which, I suppose, is why the price is so high?), and they look like crummier versions of the triangle watermelon, at least to my untrained watermelon eye. I dunno, what do you think? They better taste better, that’s for sure.

Face Shaped Watermelon

Here’s the one that you all came for. This is the most ridiculous watermelon I’ve ever seen, and I would never be alone in a dark room with this one.

This face-watermelon will cost you $475 USD, but, I mean, c’mon, it’s a face! It even has glasses on and a big smile, so you feel good when you eat through half your month’s rent. It’s a smile that says…”it’s okay, I still love you…even though you’re a dumb knee-biter for buying me.”

Looks like this one has a Hitler mustache!

How are these Watermelon Made?

Well, the face one is a secret process, apparently. Though it follows the same basic rules as the others. All they do is put a glass / plastic container around the small, baby watermelon, and it grows into the shape it’s put into. Cube shaped is put into a cube container, triangle into a triangle container, etc. They  do something extra fancy with the Hitler face though, but they aren’t willing to taddle their secrets.

If you’d like to get one of these watermelon for yourself, you can actually get them shipped to you overseas (maybe). Check out Rakuten’s Art Suika page and look for the English section somewhere in the middle. You might be able to order your own overpriced watermelon if you email them.

Vocab for this Article

Something I thought I’d try to do, since this is a website about learning Japanese culture and language. We’re going to include some vocabulary at the end of every news / culture related article to give you a chance to sponge some Japanese vocabulary as well. I mean, why not, right?

スイカ (suika)
Watermelon

果物 (Kudamono)
Fruit

三角 (Sankaku)
Triangle

四角 (shikaku)
Square

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    alllll right people. no more commenting to see if it gets skinnier. It does, and then the text starts overlapping itself, and things might break.

  • Mrwindupbird

    Gotta agree with the you there. The panda hat is the greatest hat I’ve come across in years!

  • St

    OK koichi, sorry if it came across as if we (I) were trying to push your buttons earlier.

  • Sougen02

    Hah i remember my friend wrote a report on the cube shaped watermelons! xD
    it was back in May or so.

  • Sougen02

    That’s funny because I have this frind I talk to on Ustream.tv and she was like… hey is that you who comments on Tofugu?
    i had no idea she came here too! xD

    (Haley, if your reading this… HI! =P )

  • emiko

    it’s times like this that i feel like i can relate to the ‘it’s a small world’ song . . . but then it gets stuck in my head

  • emiko

    i know! and i have seen quite a few panda hats too! his is definitely the best so far!

  • Fitzy

    lol

    we’re
    shaping the
    T
    E
    X
    T
    should it
    also be
    expensive
    now?

  • http://www.myspace.com/ravishing_peach little_bee

    I want one shaped like a kitty! Or a bus! Oooh, wait!!! I want one shaped like a pumpkin!!!!!
    ^-^

    Really love the idea of listing the vocab from the article. Fun AND educational, rock on, Koichi!

  • http://youtube.com/profile?user=chokudori クリス

    I remember watching a segment of Utaban that featured items that could possibly be “real” or not. The heart shape watermelon was one of the featured items along with the pocket piano and the butler service robot.

    Expensive as it is, the heart shaped watermelon would be a nice touch to a romantic dinner. Then again, you can always buy a regular watermelon and cut it into a shape of a heart (-_-)'

    With all this talk about watermelons, here's something that a few Japanese are taking up as a hobby, watermelon carving: http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=HGoppZawRcc

  • The_Meganator

    Haha! Love it!
    Two words… Penis Watermelon!

    Somebody had to go there so I did! XD

  • Kyo

    now only if they would apply that technique to pumpkins for Halloween.

    But seriously S100 to $1000 for a cube or triangle shaped watermelon -_- that is so silly, but you got people buying shirts and pants that cost $150 to $200 a pair (coughbapecough)

    kool process, but you have to fairly rich to buy one of them to EAT.

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  • altonet

    Lol! That's cool, though I probably won't buy a $150 watermelon any time soon ^_____^

  • katie

    hmmm i would love to get some plexiglass and make my own watermelon cube molds…. i bet if i sold them for 20-30$ at the farmers market i could make a bundle.. i wonder if it would do the same thing with pumpkins.. and i bet those plastic things would keep the evil squirrels from eating my melons.. i certainly wouldnt pay hundreds of dollars for a melon.. maybe 15$ for a face one..

  • http://mobiletimes.in indian smartphones

    These are all just to make money..I can't agree with the pyramid watermelon..That is not correct what you mention above..
    UFO Pants

  • gayathrib83

    Watermelons like Japanese face really looks amazing.. Wondering, why make it so difficult to grows these watermelons and buy it at a high price. Anyway, we are going to eat that. But, these watermelons, are ones like made for showcases.. But, really great effort, who discovered this..

    Hosting

  • anchor

    Japanese face water melons looks good but i dont think we could eat it, because of its ugly face it could only be kept for showcase. Where as others like heart shape and pyramid shape looks awsome.

  • http://www.google.coml resolve

    These watelmellons are simply superb… We can afford to but at any price they keep in the market..

  • annonumus

    These are looking very intresting … I love to have one of of them..

    Yahoo

  • http://www.shopnotebookbatteries.com laptop batteries

    A few of rectangular melons had been brought to my country. They cost ~50$ and we had bought one for my grandfather. Their taste is the same as normal melon's but they're much more interesting to eat.
    laptop batteries

  • http://crownz.org backlinks

    The shapes of these fruits are definitely attractive and nice marketing strategy too. The pick of the list is Heart Shaped Watermelon, but really upset with the sliced piece wrapped with plastic cover. Some has to put a break to this and focus on quality.

  • http://crownz.org backlinks

    The shapes of these fruits are definitely attractive and nice marketing strategy too. The pick of the list is Heart Shaped Watermelon, but really upset with the sliced piece wrapped with plastic cover. Some has to put a break to this and focus on quality.

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  • Caitlin G

    cool i like the heart & face shapes

  • http://hi.baidu.com/yishiym123 TwoBlue

    'Spend' money on, I meant, but both verbs apply.

  • http://hi.baidu.com/yishiym123 TwoBlue

    'Spend' money on, I meant, but both verbs apply.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/anoccomir Alwin Oz

    awesome article :)

  • Mnapk

    What an idea.

  • PAD

    People may think it is grazy but it adds lots of fun in life – one has to pay a prize for some creative work …if you like fund afford for it buy , else appreciate the creativity

  • SEXY CHICK

    its unlikely that it’ll be used as decorations, koichi, cuz that would bring a lot of bugs in your house.

  • eazydoesit

    If you read more the square shaped watermelon aren’t even ripe inside, they have to harvest before they are done to keep the shape….why not just put it in a bigger boxer to let it grow longer.