Damn it, Radish, live!
TOKYO (Reuters) – A giant white radish that won the hearts of a Japanese town by valiantly growing through the urban asphalt was in intensive care at a town hall in western Japan on Thursday after being slashed by an unknown assailant.
The “daikon” radish, shaped like a giant carrot, first made the news months ago when it was noticed poking up through asphalt along a roadside in the town of Aioi, population 33,289.
This week local residents, who had nicknamed the vegetable “Gutsy Radish”, were shocked — and in some cases moved to tears — when they found it had been decapitated.
TV talk shows seized on the attempted murder of the popular vegetable and a day later, the top half of the radish was found near the site where it had been growing.
A town official said on Thursday the top of the severed radish had been placed in water to try to keep it alive and possibly get it to flower.
Asked why the radish — more often found on Japanese dinner tables as a garnish, pickle or in “oden” stew — had so many fans, town spokesman Jiro Matsuo said: “People discouraged by tough times were cheered by its tenacity and strong will to live.”