There is actually a Love Story with Marimo. About 100 years ago, there lived a young girl on the island of Hokkaido, whose father was the head of a village near Lake Akan. The girl’s marriage had been arranged but unfortunately, she fell in love with a commoner and they decided to run away together. When the lovers reached Lake Akan, they jumped in. They then metamorphosed into little Marimo balls and lived happily ever after.
The name of Marimo originated from Japanese botanist Tatsuhiko Kawakami (‘mari’ is a shortened version of temari meaning handball and ‘mo’ is a generic term for aquatic plants). The spherical shape, with no roots or leaves, just like a ball of moss, attracts a lot Marimo lovers to own different sizes of Marimo. In Japan, every October, the Ainu (indigenous people of Hokkaido) holds a Marimo Matsuri (Spherical Algae Festival) which lasts three days. It is both a celebration of and a thanksgiving to Mother Nature for her bounty and blessings.
Besides, Marimo balls is believed to bring luck, love and happiness. He says there had been customers who won the lottery after buying marimo balls!