I remember being a kid and having an adversity to cucumbers. Had I known about Adose-Cho (網戸瀬町) in Fukui, I would’ve immediately moved there. You see, this entire town has outlawed growing, and subsequently eating the innocent little Cucumber. Whence does this dislike of Cucumbers come from? Read on and find out what the townspeople have against the usually quite healthy and wholesome Cucumis Sativus.
Turns out the Cucumber picked a fight with a Japanese Deity named Susanoo-no-Mikoto (須佐之男), of Yasaka Shrine. According to popular folklore, the god was hiding from a Thunderstorm and found shelter underneath a shelf topped with Cucumbers. Somehow the shelf broke and one of the falling Cucumbers hit him in the eye, blinding him partially. Naturally, he’s hated the little green Cucurbitaceae ever since. Maybe that’s why he looks so angry in this picture… his mother must’ve accidentally put Cucumbers in his Salad again.
That’s the story, anyway. Of course it only makes sense if one doesn’t think too much about it (as is the case with many religious stories). For those of you who like to use your noggin, here are some questions to ponder with this tale…
Why was a powerful god hiding from a Thunderstorm…especially since he’s supposed to be a Storm God? If he does/did have divine powers, why was he so easily beaten by a mere Vegetable? Was a Cucumber the equivalent of Kryptonite to him? …logic, unfortunately, does not prevail against superstitions (as we all know too well), so even to this day, Cucumbers have absolutely no chance in Adose-Cho. The town of 60 (<–yep, you read that right!) people (mostly elderly) still has very strict ordinances against this pesky Vegetable to this very day. Sounds pretty crazy, right? As one Japanese netizen put it:
Well now we know what happens to people who don’t eat their cucumbers: they go crazy
So, if you plan on visiting this sleepy little town in Fukui, bring your Camera, your Japanese Phrasebook, and a hearty appetite for adventure… just leave the Cucumbers in the Car. “Take the Phrasebook, leave the Cucumbers!”.
On the other hand, maybe 須佐之男 had the power of foresight and wanted to prevent his people from eating Luminous Cucumbers in the future…