What is some folklore about persimmon seed?


Quick Answer

The Japanese folktale, "The Crab and the Monkey," begins with a monkey trading his persimmon seed for a crab's rice ball by arguing the seed will result in more food than a rice ball in the future. In Ozark folklore, persimmon seeds may predict upcoming winter weather.

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Full Answer

In the story also titled "The Quarrel of the Monkey and the Crab," the crab plants the persimmon seed and cultivates it into a tree. The monkey offers to help harvest the persimmons, but climbs up the tree and steals all the fruit. When the crab protests, the monkey kills the crab.

In the Ozarks, farmers traditionally sliced persimmon seeds in half to look at the white embryo in the center. A spoon-shaped embryo suggests heavy snow, a knife-shaped embryo suggests a colder or windier winter and a fork-shaped embryo suggests a warmer winter.

Another Korean tale, "The Tiger and the Persimmon," features persimmons. A woman tries to stop her baby from crying by telling him about tigers. A tiger overhears this and approaches the house to look at the baby who continues to cry, seemingly unafraid of tigers. When the mother offers the baby persimmons, the baby stops crying. The tiger flees, mistakenly thinking persimmons are scarier than tigers.

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