|Authors: ||Y. Oda, K. Nishimura|
|Keywords: ||Japanese name of strawberry, Ichibiko, Ichigo, Fragaria × ananassa|
‘Ichigo’ is a peculiar word to Japan.
It is not a loan word.
Korea and China, Japan’s old trading partners, have their own proper names for strawberry.
It is supposed that the word ‘Ichigo’ came from ‘Ichibiko’, the common name of what seems to be Rubus, Potentilla or Duchesnea described in a history book in early 8th century.
As the then Japanese language did not have characters, Chinese characters were borrowed for writing.
In spoken Japanese, on the other hand, the common name ‘Ichibiko’ was used.
This inconsistency may have caused confusion in the name or representation of the plant.
It is suggested from literature that the cultivated strawberry Fragaria × ananassa was first introduced to Japan early to mid 19th century.
Since then, ‘Oranda-ichigo’ was established as the Japanese botanical name for cultivated strawberry, and ‘Ichigo’ as the common name.
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