WHY ARE THE JAPANESE SO OBSESSED WITH SPAIN'S SUN FLOWERS?
The picturesque town of Carmona, 35 kilometres northeast of Sevilla, has much to commend it: extensive Roman remains, a Moorish alcazar, or fortress, impressive walls, Baroque palaces and innumerable churches. But growing numbers of visitors, particularly from Japan, are drawn here for the spectacular sunflower fields on the outskirts of the town.
Many visitors from Asia say that sunflowers represent vitality and fertility, and that in some parts of Japan there are sunflower festivals. They say they represent light, life, the sun. It is very Spanish, the art of cracking open sunflower seeds known as 'pipas' with her teeth.