Momo or peaches come from China but have been known in Japan since olden times. In japanese mythology Izanagi, when fleeing from the Underworld and persecuted by his dead wife and various monsters, throws peaches at his persecutors. Peaches were believed to work against bad influences and ward off evil. And then we of course also have the cute Peach Boy from Japanese legend, who drives away the monsters from their island.
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Although peaches were long known in Japan, modern cultivation started in the late Edo period. Now the most active prefectures are Fukushima, Yamanashi, Nagano, Okayama (the home of Peach Boy) and Yamagata. Peaches are for sale in July and August and form a welcome refreshment in the hot summer.