Kabocha Pumpkin


Pumpkin (kabocha)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Autumn
***** Category: Plant


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The name derived from the Portugese, which introduced this vegetagle from
Cambodia (カンボジア kambojia ... kaboja).
The Chinese characters imply "a gourd that came from the south (Nagasaki)" 南瓜.


kigo with pumpkin
(some saijiki place it in early autumn)

kabocha 南瓜 (かぼちゃ) pumpkin, squash
Cucurbita moschata
Kürbis; Gartenkürbis

toonasu とうなす【唐茄子】lit. "Chinese Eggplant"
... nankin なんきん
boofura ぼうぶら lit. abbora, name for Kambodja. This word is used in West-Japan.
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nanban なんばん "Southern Barbarians" (Portugese, bringing the fruit to Nagasaki)


kigo for mid-summer

kabocha no hana 南瓜の花 (かぼちゃのはな) pumpkin flowers
..... hana kabocha 花南瓜(はなかぼちゃ)
toonasu no hana とうなすの花(とうなすのはな)


is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae (which also includes gourds). It is a common name of or can refer to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata. They are typically orange or yellow and have many creases running from the stem to the bottom. They have a thick shell on the outside, with seeds and pulp on the inside.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Different types of pumpkin
used in Japanese cooking

Nihon Kabocha, Japanese Pumpkins,
Cucurbita moschata 日本かぼちゃ

bataanattsu sukuasshu ... butternut squash バターナッツスクアッシュ. Cucurbita moschat

chirimen ちりめん "crepe"
The outside has bumps and it looks like crepe material.

hinata kabocha 日向かぼちゃ pumpkin "from a sunny place"
Speciality of Miyazaki. Has a black skin.

kikuza 菊座 "chrysanthemum seat"
Representative of Japanese pumpkins. Outer skin like a chrysanthemum. Soft and watery. God for boiling. Early summer to autumn.

kurokawa 黒皮 "black skin"
often used in expensive restaurants. Tasts a bit watery. Early summer.

Shishigatani kabocha 鹿ヶ谷南瓜(カボチャ)
pumpkins from Shishigatani

a Kyoto Vegetable

seiyoo kabocha 西洋カボチャ Western Pumpkin
Cucurbita maxima

Has been introduced from America in 1863. Grown mostly in Hokkaido.

Ebisu えびす "Good of Good Luck, Ebisu" most often found on the market.
kurikabocha with black skin 黒皮栗 kurokawa kuri
kurikabocha with red skin 赤皮栗 akakawa kuri
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pepo ペポ種 Cucurbita pepo
From North America, often used for Halloween decorations in Japan.


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kabocha ryoori 南瓜料理

Dishes with pumpkin

Most pumpkins are grown in Hokkaido.

In some areas of Japan, it is cutstom to eat pumpkin dishes at the winter solstice. They are simmered with sweet potato starch and sugar.
Some types are very sweet and are used for deserts, cakes and cookies.

panpukin pai パンプキンパイ pumpkin pie

panpukin shiido 種子(パンプキンシード) pumpkin seeds are eaten like nuts or baked in bread or cookies.

panpukin shiido oiru 食用油(パンプキンシードオイル)pumpkin seed oil

itokoni いとこ煮、従弟煮 "Boiled Nephews"

Reference : Pumpkin Dishes in Japan

Worldwide use

North America

i feel sure that 'pumpkin' is one of our international fall kigo. or 'squash'.

here in america, it is a custom to have a 'pumpkin patch'. a farmer will grow and sell pumpkins in late october. or sometimes a church youth group will sell pumpkins on the church lawn.

families will go to the pumpkin patch select a pumpkin for halloween carving into a jack-o-lantern.

here is a haiku of mine that recently came in first in the 'haiku party' featuring the kigo 'pumpkin' at the journal, south by southwest.

twin redheads
toddle their pumpkin
to the car

susan delphine delaney md
plano, texas

Things found on the way

Daruma like a pumpkin  

O-bake kabocha (お化けカボチャ)
huge pumpkin and ghosts
monster pumpkin 御化南瓜

These huge pumpkins are usually not eaten in Japan and used for Halloween. At Shodojima in the Inland Sea there is a competition for the most heavy pumpkin of Japan.

CLICK for original LINK  .. anika.jp
There is a famous rakugo funny story about a vendor of pumpkins
toonasuya 唐茄子屋
Kabochaya かぼちゃ屋」
Nankin seidan なんきん政談 (in Osaka dialect)


asa-ichi no obake kabocha no ninki kana

at the morning market
he is a great favorite -
the monster pumpkin

Kawakami Ryotaro


itokoni no boofura amaki tooji kana

the pumpkin of this
itokoni is so sweet ...
winter solsitce

Snow Rabbit


harvest moon
the scent of pumpkin soup
next door

- Shared by Ramona Linke -
Joys of Japan, 2012

Related words

***** Gourd and gourd pickles (uri) Japan

***** Melon (uri) ... Cucumis melo var. makuwa Japan.
Watermelon (suika). Snake gourd (karasu uri). Oriental melon (makuwa uri).

***** Halloween, Hallowe’en North America

Autumn Vegetables



anonymous said...


唐茄子屋政談(とうなすやせいだん) 別名「唐茄子屋」「なんきん政談」



Gabi Greve - Mingei said...

Folk Toy

toonasu nezumi 唐茄子鼠(とうなすねずみ)
Funado Hariko papermachee dolls 舟渡の張子

A mouse comes out of a pumpkin, with its head wiggeling.

Anonymous said...

NHK news -

Japanese use pumpkins to make distilled spirit

People in Ibaraki Prefecture in eastern Japan have begun making distilled liquor from one of their prized agricultural products.

The Satogawa pumpkin is a species grown around the city of Hitachiota. People there hit on the idea of using the sweet, pink pumpkin to make shochu, a distilled spirit consumed widely throughout Japan.

They began the process for the first time on Tuesday with help from a local licensed distiller.

The local residents steamed 560 kilograms of recently harvested pumpkins for about 1 hour and then crushed them.

They then transferred the pumpkin paste to a tank for fermenting and distilling. It will sit there for 3 months until ready.

The locals plan to ship bottles of the drink in May.

The distiller said the process was challenging because he had never worked with pumpkins. But he said he is excited to see how it will turn out.

Dec. 18, 2013

Gabi Greve said...

- Japan Times -

Chiba group boasts pumpkins grown from seeds that visited space

A citizens’ group in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, is working on making pumpkins grown from seeds taken to space into a local specialty.

The city, which came up with the idea, asked Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, a Matsudo native, for cooperation. In 2010, Yamazaki took 230 seeds of Matsudoshiro, a local variety of pumpkins, on board the space shuttle Discovery.