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2 Japanese persimmons fetch record-high $7,500 in 1st auction of season

Two persimmons of the highest Tenkabito grade that fetched 860,000 yen (about $7,500) at auction are seen in this photo provided by the Gifu Prefectural Government.

NAGOYA -- A set of two premier persimmons harvested in central Japan's Gifu Prefecture fetched a record high of 860,000 yen (about $7,500) in the first auction of the season at the Nagoya City Central Wholesale Market's north branch in Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture, on Oct. 26.

    The price for the Tenka-fubu branded persimmons busted last year's record-setting sale price of 800,000 yen (approx. $7,000).

    According to the Gifu Prefectural Government, a wholesaler won the bid, and the fruits were put on display at a supermarket in Nagoya's Showa Ward.

    Tenka-fubu persimmons are an especially high-quality variant of the Neo Sweet variety -- a hybrid of the sugary Shinshu and the crisp Taishu -- developed by the prefecture in 2015. The National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-Noh)'s Gifu branch began to sell Tenka-fubu branded persimmons in 2016.

    Tenka-fubu persimmons are further categorized into three grades depending on sugar content, weight and quality: the premier Tenkabito, followed by the Taisho and Mononofu grades. Tenkabito-ranked persimmons must have sugar content higher than 25% and weigh more than 310 grams each. The sugar content is much higher than that of the common Fuyu variety's 16%.

    About 3,000 Tenka-fubu persimmons -- among some 6,000 to be shipped this autumn -- were sent out on Oct. 26. Among them, only two were ranked as Tenkabito. A Zen-Noh Gifu branch representative said, "These two fruits will probably be the only Tenkabito persimmons this year."

    (Japanese original by Motoyori Arakawa, Nagoya News Center)

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