September 2017 Archives

Soon after the end of the 2nd World War, in 1948, a letter from the GHQ was delivered.

Mr. Kosei Nishizawa, an apple farmer in Hirosaki, Aomori, has kept the letter ever since.  Recently he brought the letter in to us, Apple University.


The letter was a thank-you note from Colonel Sydney Huff, Aide-de-Camp, on behalf of General Douglas MacArthur addressed to Mr. Nishizawa’s father, Konoshin.  Mr. Nishimura, Konoshin’s acquaintance, was the actual sender of the apples.

It said, “General MacArthur has asked me to write and tell you he has received the crate of apples which you were so kind as to send to him, and to express his deep appreciation for this thoughtful act.General MacArthur sends you his cordial regards and good wishes.”


Mr. Nishizawa was handed the letter from his father more than 20 years ago, but he kept it without paying it any mind.  Later on he had some chances to visit other countries because of his apple export business.  It was then that he learned the value of human relations and it led him to read the letter again.  He thought that the letter conveyed the general’s kind concern to send a thank-you note to an average citizen like his father.  So this time, he decided to make it public.


It is impressive to know about the existence of the letter from the general, and it must be the fact that the apples were of good quality that led him to send it.  The history of Aomori apples dates back to the early Meiji era, and the present Aomori apple industry was supported by people who overcame various difficulties at that time.  Even when goods were scarce after the war, farmers still produced delicious apples, which consumed their time and labor.  The industry now is the result of effort done by those who have gone before us.

We truly hope that Aomori apples will be loved by people all over the world as the delicious enjoyment spreads, and that in the end they will play a role in Japan’s international exchange.





Apple University is a virtual university where you can learn many things about apples in a fun way. ⇒ Click here to go to the site.

Removing Leaves

We observed the process of removing the leaves of “Sun Tsugaru” on August 27, 2016.



The removing of leaves is for the coloring of apples, exposing the fruit to more sunlight.  
But excess thinning causes a malnutrition of the fruit, owing to less photosynthesis. 

The farmers were skillfully thinning leaves one after another.


At the same time, they clipped the spindly growth of apple tree branches. 
Some shoots were longer than our height.  
This thinning and clipping allowed more sunlight.  (The red circled part)




The sunlight is essential for apples to become red, but there is another condition for this coloring to occur.  It’s temperature.
The apples start to color when the lowest temperature of the day is below 20 degrees C, even when the temperature is high during the daytime.


Regarding the coloring, please visit here.


A few days after the removal of leaves, rotating of fruit is performed so that all surfaces of the fruit gets red. 
The process of coloring after the removal of leaves and rotating of fruit happens days later.





When apples get bigger, there occurs feeding damage by crows.  
To cope with them, the farmers were using a model hawk which was flying in the air (the photo on the left).  It looked like a real one.

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There was sparkling tape (the photo on the right) as well, but the model hawk is the most effective, they said.





Apple University is a virtual university where you can learn many things about apples in a fun way. ⇒ Click here to go to the site.