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Frogpond 44.2 • 2021

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay 1 - "Persimmons"

Essay 2 - "Heft of Haiku"



Book Reviews

From the Editor

Haiku Society of America



by Charles Trumbull

"Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Persimmons"
from A Field Guide to North American Haiku

(complete PDF version)

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

Persimmons are grown around the world. The oriental persimmon, Diospyros kaki, is native to China, spread to Japan in the seventh century, and was imported to California, southern Europe, and South America in the nineteenth century. This is the persimmon known as 柿 (kaki) in Japan. There are thousands of cultivars, but kaki are basically of two types, astringent and sweet. The astringent type has a high level of tannin and is inedible until fully ripened and the pulp has turned jelly-like. The most common cultivar of this type in Japan and the U.S. is the hachiya (蜂屋柿 hachiyagaki).

Sweet cultivars—smaller and flatter than the hachiya—may be consumed while still firm and are commonly sliced for salads and fruit bowls or cooked or baked in breads and puddings. Sweet varieties include fuyu (富有 or 富有柿 fuyugaki) and jiro (次郎 or 次郎柿柿 jirogaki). A specially sweet variety called Sharon fruit is marketed in Israel.

Shibugaki 渋柿 is the name given a bitter persimmon, which is peeled, hung on a string or pole, and massaged daily to evaporate the juices and leave the sugars that coat the outside of the fruit. When dried for preservation, these fruits are called 吊柿 tsurushigaki (hanging persimmons). In the old days when sugar was too expensive for common folk, these dried, sweet persimmons were used instead of sugar. 干柿 hoshigaki are still very popular confection in Japan. .

[essay continues for several more pages] . . .

. . .

Trumbull, Charles. "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Persimmons." Frogpond 44.2, Spring-Summer 2021, 90-108.

This excerpt inclues the first page of the essay: page 90. The complete essay includes pages 90-108. To read the complete essay, click on the link to the PDF version:

"Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Persimmons"
from A Field Guide to North American Haiku

(complete PDF version)