Mie: Bamboo and shovel produce curious sight

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Members of Takesuzume look up at a shovel lifted above the ground by the growth of a bamboo shoot in Nabari, Mie Prefecture.

NABARI, Mie — At first glance, it looks as though a bamboo shoot has sprouted a shovel midway up its trunk, but of course that is not the case. The shoot in this bamboo grove in Nabari, Mie Prefecture, grew inside the handle of the shovel, which had been left behind two years earlier, and lifted it to a height of about 2 meters.

Members of a group called Takesuzume, which produces bamboo lights and other bamboo products, discovered the curious sight. The group usually harvests bamboo from the grove with the cooperation of the landowner.

In April of this year, when a member of the group went to cut some bamboo, that individual noticed a shovel about 1 meter long and weighing about 1 kilogram “floating” almost parallel to the ground. The shovel turned out to be one that had been left behind after the group dug up bamboo shoots in the spring of 2020.