It is generally believed that the home of the ume (Japanese apricot) is China. Accepted theory also holds that it was introduced to Japan during or slightly before the Nara period (710-794). It was first introduced as a medicine made from the fruits of the ume. After that, the ume tree was transplanted to Japan and it spread rapidly throughout the country.
In the middle of the Heian period (794-1192), the umeboshi appeared in writing for the first
time. It was written that Emperor Murakami recovered from illness using umeboshi. However, the umeboshi
of those times was different from that of today, that is, it was just salted.
Umeboshi has become an important part of Japanese life. Today, as many Japanese people travel overseas, we have come to value umeboshi more. In fact, many Japanese travelers overseas carry umeboshi with them, in case they become homesick for the taste of Japanese food or if they should fall ill.