Square watermelon from Japan

Square or cube watermelons are watermelons grown into the shape of a cube. Cube watermelons are commonly sold in Japan, where they are essentially ornamental and are often very expensive, with prices as high as US$200.

Purpose and uses

Cubic Japanese watermelon in market

Cube watermelons were intended to fit more compactly in fridges and their shape makes them easier to cut as they don't roll. They were invented by graphic designer Tomoyuki Ono in 1978. He presented the watermelons in a gallery in Ginza, Tokyo.[1] He also applied for and received a patent in the United States.[2]

The melons are grown in boxes and take the shape of the container, and they tend to appeal to wealthy or fashionable consumers. In 2001, square watermelons sold for ¥10,000 in Japan (about US$83), two to three times the price of regular watermelons in Japanese stores.[3][4][5] In Canada in 2014, some sold for $200.[6]

Although cube melons were originally created with practicality in mind, the cost is prohibitive. The cube shape of the watermelon can only be achieved at the expense of its contents. To retain the proper shape, cube melons must be harvested before they are ripe, rendering them inedible.[7]

Since the advent of the cube watermelon, other watermelon shapes have been introduced, such as hearts and pyramids.[8][9] They are also available in other countries now, such as in Germany.

Cubic watermelon in market, Munich, Germany

See also


  1. ^ Melonen nun im Quadrat, Arbeiter-Zeitung, 1978-08-21, p. 5 (Austrian Newspaper, German)
  2. ^ Molding process for a natural fruit of a fruit-tree or vegetable, a molding frame therefor and molded above fruit. US 4187639 A
  3. ^ "Square fruit stuns Japanese shoppers". BBC. 15 June 2001. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  4. ^ "A de-vine idea: square watermelon". Reading, Pennsylvania. Reading Eagle. 15 June 2001. p. B10. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  5. ^ Allen, Rick (3 August 2006). "Watermelons are nature's sweet way of fending off summer's heat". No. 63.337. Ocala, Florida. Ocala Star-Banner. pp. 1C, 4C. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  6. ^ Holliday, Ian (15 July 2014). "$200 square watermelons are selling, despite the price tag". British Columbia. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  7. ^ Pinchko, Alexey; Mingazev, Sergey (6 November 2013). "Square watermelons Japan. English version". YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Square fruit: Odd-shaped melons herald Japan summer". CTVNews. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  9. ^ Paton, Callum (3 July 2015). "Japan: Heart-shaped melons go on sale as part of country's tradition of extravagant fruit gifts". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 31 July 2015.