The Fuji story began 23 years earlier in 1939 at Tohoku Fruit Tree research station near Fujisaki, Japan. Part of a breeding programme to create an apple suited to the Japanese climate and palate, 64 crosses were made between 20 apple varieties.
What was to become Fuji was propagated by hand-pollinating flowers of old US variety Ralls Janet with pollen from Delicious. Pips from the resulting apples were germinated and seedlings planted out in 1940. With the onset of war, when fruit-growing was not a priority, staff had to leave the young seedlings.