Natsumikan,Daidai,Yuzu Produced from the processing and sales and wholesale | Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture Yuzuya Honten

Iroha, the basics of Natsumikan

Natsumikan natural tree

■ Natsumikan natural tree

Location: Oohibi Aza, Senzaki, Nagato Yamaguchi
Registered date as natural treasure: April 8th, 1927(内務省告示第315号)
Height: 5.2m
Circumference:1.3m at the base of the tree 0.75m at the point of 1m from the base
Tree vigor: more than 100 pieces of citrus fruit

There is a Natsumikan natural tree registered as the natural treasure in Oohibi Omijima, Nagato city, which is located 20km west from Hagi.

About 300 years ago, the first year of Eihou(1704), there was a woman, named Nishimoto Okinaga who picked up the fruit on the beach that drifted ashore, and from the fruit she took out the seeds and grew more fruit. But, it was unknown and unrecognized if the fruit was exactly the same fruit as what we call Natsumikan, or had the fruit accidentally came into existence?

In Oohibi, the fruit was called「Ujyukitsu」「Bakemono」and it was used as a toy ball for children, not for food. When the Natsumikan fruit was used as vinegar, it was called Natsudaidai.

In the fourth year of Tempo(1833) Hikoemon Sugi from Hagi went to Oohibi and he got the two young plants from Oohibi, and, asked Soubee Kodama to plant one of the trees. In the first year of Kaei (1848) the tree bore the first fruit but they didn’t know when to pick the fruit. Masasuke, a successor of the Kodama family, picked the fruit off the tree and then ate it, he found it to be good, so he gifted the fruits to the lord of the domain of Hagi, Takachika Mouri, he encouraged him to grow the fruit with.

This is why the fruit was also called “ Kodama Mikan tangerine ”in Hagi.

Takamasa Obata and Hagi Natsumikan

Takamasa Obata, came back to Hagi, and retired from being the director of Kokura, Fukuoka. He couldn’t stand looking on Hagi ex samurai warriors with no jobs, in such a wretched condition, he bought and collected the young Natsudaidai trees and planted them. Meahwhile, he advocated and organized “Taikyu-sya corporation”, which is a mutual aid association for these descendants of the samurai classes in great need. He got a loan for the project from the samurai business station starting in Yamaguchi prefecture. With these funds, they could increase up to 10,000 young trees and they distributed the trees to the workers of Taikyu-sya corporation. The spots which Natsumikan trees where planted was the back yard of Samurai residence or warrior class residence site. They plant the trees every year but there are some people who laughed at what they did behind the planters because they didn’t believe the fruit was worth the effort.

Takamasa Obata made a lot of effort on Natsudaidai growing to help Hagi warrior class people, sold the Natsumikan after he got the trademark of Hagi Natsumikan in 1879 Meij era. A lot of ex samurais followed Obata’s lead and they could harvest about 260 tons of the fruits in 1887, Meiji era.

They celebrated about Obata’s business project and set up the stone monument “Daidai en no ki” in 1890, to tell the descendants about the hardship for more than ten years. On the stone, it says, people, some doubted and others laughed about my planting Daidai in the lands. But today’s ovation… Came to be Hagi’s specialty at last.

Until it’s called Natsumikan

Natsumikan brought into Hagi, the cultivation spread out between the warriors Natsumikan brought to Hagi, the cultivation spread out to the warriors in Meiji era after Takamasa Obata’s encouragment.The citrus fruit, Hagi’s specialty item settled in Hagi as Natsudaidai since then. In Meiji 18, 1885, Sankichi Yamanaka and Suematsu Kawamura went to Osaka to sell the fruits and in the Tenma Ichiba market, a man, Ichinosuke Kobayashi pointed out and suggested “when the fruits name is Natsudaidai in Kanji character, they have association to the sick, Yoi Yoi, and it sounds evil, so, wouldn’t it better to call it Natsu-Mikan for its name? ” After that, they say the fruit is called Natsumikan.

Hagi, it came to be the seminal place after the Meiji restoration and it’s Natsumikan tree forms one part of the Hagi scenery. White, scentful Natsumikan flower is chosen as the flower of Yamaguchi prefecture.

It’s cultivation spread out between the warriors in Meiji era and the harvest amount grew to be 13,000 ton around the year 1965, at the peak and it came to be very famous all over Japan. They pick up the fruit around April to June but they use the young fruit in December to February, to take out the juice to use as vinegar. Also, the thick peel of the fruit is widely used in Natsumikan sweets or jelly stuffed sweets.

The use of Natsumikan is not only for its tastiness

Natsumikan has special health benefiting chemicals.

1.The peel or bags have Naringin which has good effects such as antioxygen, anti inflammation, and anti virus. It contains 6 flavonoids such as Tangeretine or Nobiretine, which has protection effect on infiltration or transfer of cancer cell.

2.The seeds contains limonoid which enhances the effect of an enzyme that removes internal harmful substances.

3.The bags have limonen which has a mental stabilizing effect.

The ingredients’ functions from Natsumikan

The ingredients’ function of Natsumikan

Main ingredients
Helps with the function of intestinal disorders
Citric acid
Supplies of Human energy
Vitamin C
Antioxidant substance
Growth promotion
Allergy restraint
Reduce the low density lipoprotein, bad cholesterol
Limonoid sort
Tumor restraint, detoxification effect
Restraint effect by increasing the white blood cell
Restraint effect for tumor cell

Effect from combination of Natsumikan ingredient

Anti cancer effect
Cryptoxantin, Auraptene, Limonoid family Vitamin C, and Nobiletin
Anti aging
Vitamin A, C, and E, β-carotene, Naringin and some sort of minerals
Protection from cold
Vitamin A and C, Naringin
Solution for constipation
Pectin, cellulose
Control high blood pressure
Potassium, pectin
Effect for skin beauty
Vitamin C, citric acid, Naringin
Effect of tranquilizing
Anti oxidant effect
Vitamin A, C, and E, some other minerals
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