In a peculiar turn of events, authorities recently addressed the case of a Japanese man, approximately 50 years old, who had been cultivating an urban oasis in the median strip of a bustling road in Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture.
Reports suggest that the man, with a passion for tropical plants, had been discreetly planting and nurturing three banana trees in this unconventional location for the past two years.
Authorities, alerted by the growing vegetation affecting motorists’ visibility, identified the green-thumbed culprit responsible for the unauthorized urban garden. The man faced a stern notice to remove the banana trees promptly or risk penalties—a potential year-long jail term or a hefty fine of 500,000 yen (Rs 2,82,193).
The motive behind choosing public property, particularly the median strip, for this botanical venture remains unclear. Despite the unusual choice of location, the banana trees flourished under the man’s dedicated care, drawing attention not only from locals but also from national news outlets.
As the man reluctantly uprooted his beloved banana trees under official orders, he shared his sentiments with a local journalist, expressing a sense of loneliness without his cherished green companions. The removal process garnered significant media coverage, with major news channels present to document the event. In a quirky twist, the man was even filmed attempting to eat one of the unripe bananas harvested from the trees.
Despite the unripeness of the banana, the man’s actions added an element of mystery to the story. It raises questions about how he managed to stay off the police radar, given his twice-daily routine of watering the plants.
The story takes a heartwarming turn as the banana trees find new homes. Two of them now reside in the garden of an 80-year-old man committed to their well-being, while the third banana tree was bestowed as a “birthday gift” by the now-famous “Kurume’s Banana Man.”
This tale of an unexpected urban garden, with its twists and turns, serves as a delightful reminder of the human connection to nature and the lengths some individuals go to nurture their green companions, even in the most unconventional of settings.