|Name of the GI||Oita Kabosu|
|Date of Protection||2017/05/26|
|Producing Area||Ooita Prefecture|
|Applicant – Name and Address||
Oita Prefecture Kabosu Promotion Association
To the attention of Oita Brand Promotion Division, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department, Oita Prefecture, 3-1-1 Otemachi, Oita City, Oita Prefecture, 870-8501, Japan
Oita Kabosu is a type of citrus fruit cultivated in Oita Prefecture. It is harvested when green and its fragrance is highest, and is then shipped to fruit and vegetable markets. Featuring a refreshing scent and not-too-strong acidity, its juice is used for cooking, where its excellent flavor complements the original taste of the ingredients.
In general, kabosu are harvested as green fruits from late August in open-field cultivation. Although they turn yellow from October to November, Oita Kabosu harvested before that are stored, and shipped until around February the following year. Moreover, from March onwards, kabosu grown in greenhouses are shipped, and an all-year-round system called "Green kabosu" has been established.
Harvesting is done when the juice of the fruit is estimated to be around 20% or more, in order to provide consumers with high-quality kabosu having a high juice content. In order to set this time period, samples are taken from each production area in Oita Prefecture, the amount of fruit juice is measured, and the proportion of fruit juice is predicted from cumulative data.
In case of storing the kabosu instead of shipping them immediately after harvesting, the conditions are adjusted so that its quality, such as the green color of the fruit and proportion of juice, is preserved according to the cultivation manual.
According to a legend in the Otomi district of Usuki City, it is considered that its cultivation began in the Edo period with the planting of seedlings (some say seeds) brought back from Kyoto by a doctor called Sogen, and the fruit was revered since ancient times for its medicinal properties.
The reason for the rapid expansion of its cultivation area as a fruit was that it was encouraged by Oita Prefecture in the 1960's. In 1972, the Oita Prefecture Kabosu Promotion Council was established by stakeholders, and consumption expansion activities began cooperatively.
In 1979, the "One Village, One Product Campaign" was promoted in Oita Prefecture, and the kabosu originally cultivated in Oita Prefecture drew attention as a flagship of Oita specialty product at various events. In response to this, the Oita Prefecture Kabosu Promotion Council has continued consumption expansion activities and worked to improve the brand value. Since 1978, Oita Prefecture has always occupied more than 90% of nationwide kabosu production, which is certainly thanks to intensive promotion of kabosu unprecedented in other production areas.