Korea in the Heian Period (794-1191). This tree was brought as
medicine since its berries are utilized as Chinese medicine. Its
Japanese name is BOKE. BOKE was originally a Chinese word
that means "tree melon" since it has melon like berries.
Chaemomeles japonica is indigenous to Japan and it is called
KUSABOKE (= plant type BOKE) since it is a small tree (heiht: 30-
40cm) like a plant. In the Edo Period (1603-1867), people came to
appreciate BOKE as a garden tree or a Bonsai tree and breeders
created many cultivars. They also used KUSABOKE for
hybridizing BOKE cultivars, so Japanese quince cultivars are
hybrids between the species at the present day. Japanese
quince has another charm compared with Japanese plum or
cherry blossom. Growing Japanese quince is popular especially in
Niigata Prefecture. There is NIHON BOKE KYOOKAI (Japanese
Quince Society) in Kosudomachi Town of Niigata Prefecture.