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Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2011

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Gigantic gourd: Mitsugi Kitahara, the winner of a national pumpkin weigh-off, shows off his 423.8-kg pumpkin Sunday on Shodo Island, Kagawa Prefecture. KYODO

423-kg monster pumpkin wins national weigh-off


TAKAMATSU, Kagawa Pref. — A monster weighing in at 423.8 kg won a contest to determine the country's heaviest pumpkin Sunday on Shodo Island in Kagawa Prefecture.

The winner, Mitsugi Kitahara, a 69-year-old engineer from Miyata, Nagano Prefecture, will go to California on Oct. 10 as Japan's representative at the world pumpkin weigh-off.

"The secret to growing large pumpkins is to give lots of care to them. I took care of the pumpkin as if I was talking to it every day, and it was worth it," Kitahara said with a big smile.

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