This week in inexplicable crimes: police in Kushiro City, Hokkaido Prefecture announced the arrest of a woman suspected of puncturing 13 melons with her finger. However, rather than the simple greed that compelled a man to damage several Demon Slayer packages to get to the toy he wanted, her motives remain a mystery.
The crime occurred on 28 July, when the 64-year-old suspect entered a supermarket and allegedly stabbed the baker’s dozen of melons with her finger at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon.
It’s important to note that these aren’t just ordinary melons, but the renowned Yubari King which often make headlines for selling at exorbitant prices. The victimized melons had a combined worth of 14,000 yen (US$135).
Interestingly enough, no security cameras caught her in the act, so it is unclear how the police managed to track down the culprit. The nature of their detective work and the suspect’s motives have not been revealed, leaving it all open to wild speculation.
Occam’s razor would suggest that she was simply checking to see which one was the freshest, albeit in the absolute grossest way possible. This kind of behavior is certainly not uncommon and was captured best in the 1985 classic Tampopo.
However, it was far from the only theory. Netizens were full of them.
“Sounds like a yokai to me.”
“I’ve seen this in a movie. It’s a kind of kung fu training for close combat.”
“I read about people who just really like the feeling of penetrating fruit.”
“I wonder if she hurt her finger doing that.”
“If she’s not on video, I wonder who ratted her out. Maybe a family member or perhaps she was famous around town as a melon poker.”
“Is it fun to do that?”
“I guess if I had a good melon poking technique, I’d want to use it as much as possible too.”
This brings us to by far the most popular and most troubling theory: that she was practicing the ancient Japanese martial art Hokuto Shinken, which involves poking someone with such ferocity that it makes their brain explode.
For a 64-year-old woman to have the raw finger strength to penetrate 13 Yubari King melon rinds, all without being detected by man or machine… well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to cross paths with her on the post-apocalyptic wastelands of 199X.
The theory that this woman is a disciple of the Hokuto Shinken would also explain the police’s secrecy surrounding her arrest and motives. It would appear that they apprehended her in the nick of time before she completed her training and unleashed her brain-exploding pokes on the general population – especially if she’s also a Pokémon GO player. You know how they can get.
From the Yubari King, to the Andes, the Higo Green Melon and many more. Melons are grown up and down Japan and they’re serious business. In May 2019, two melons from Hokkaido sold at auction for 5 million yen, that’s just over $45,000. So what is it that makes this fruit so expensive?
The Yubari King is a cantaloupe cultivar farmed in greenhouses in Yūbari, Hokkaido, a small city close to Sapporo. The Yubari King is a hybrid of two other cantaloupe cultivars: Earl’s Favourite and Burpee’s “Spicy” Cantaloupe. The hybrid’s scientific name is Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus Naud. cv. Yubari King.