The daikon is root vegetable widely used in Japanese cuisine. In the frigid winters it’s especially loved served in a steaming bowl of oden.
But most people don’t know how the humble daikon makes its way from the field to the dinner table. So the folks at Ume Mama Root Vegetable Farms have photo-documented the entire life of a typical daikon and presented it via Twitter.
First, a fun little fact about daikon: In Japanese, the word daikon is often used to describe bad actors. In much the same way that Engish-speakers refer to bad actors as “wooden” or talk about “ham-fisted delivery”, Japanese will often refer to a bad or lifeless actor as a daikon.
For the purposes of narration we shall refer to this daikon by the randomly chosen name of Keanu Reeves in Every Movie Since Bill And Ted, or “Kriemsbat” for short.
Our journey begins in the daikon fields of Hyogo Prefecture.
An age-old Japanese farming technique has the daikon emerge from the ground by themselves. Here, Kriemsbat sees sunlight for the first time.
Kriemsbat is allowed to roam freely in the fields. As the old Japanese proverbs goes; “a daikon who tastes freedom tastes best.”
Many daikon also develop strong leg muscles during this time which give them a firmer texture.
After a short time, Kriemsbat decides to venture out from the safety of the daikon patch. This is a big moment in a daikon’s life.
This is the time where free-roaming daikon often engage in mating rituals.
But it’s also fraught with peril. Here Kriemsbat encounters the daikon’s most dangerous predator in the wild, the fluffy shiba.
Luckily Kriemsbat’s well-developed legs allow it a safe escape…
Other daikon are not so lucky.
Having fled the cute monster, Kriemsbat had accidentally run into the lair of an even deadlier predator.
The wily human employs tools to overcome the daikon’s athleticism.
Ensnared by domesticus technicus variant of human, Kriemsbat’s future is sealed as a pickled side dish for dinner.
Some daikon rights activists frown upon the treatment of these noble roots, labeling it as “cruel.” However, Ume Mama Root Vegetable Farms defends the nigeru daikon (escaping daikon) practice as a part of cultural heritage.
Ume Mama is also releasing this agricultural series as a 2013 calendar.