The Chinese flowering quince is a shrub of the family rosaceae. The generic name derives from chaino, open, and meles, apple: the apple that opens. In its place of origin, East Asia, it has been used for retention of land on the banks of rivers, due to its power of rooting. It was introduced in Europe in 1796, it has had an important use in landscaping for its abundant and spectacular flowering.
In the European botanical exploration of the Far East and Japan, where the quince comes from, religious orders played an important role, preferably the Jesuits, who were welcomed for their expertise. Their representatives were in fact, thanks to their missionary work, practically the only Westerners who had permission to enter these territories. In Japan, the Spanish Jesuit Francis Xavier had already established in the early sixteenth century, the first contact between European and Japanese cultures through Catholicism.
Years later, in 1614, a Japanese embassy headed by the samurai converted to Christianity Hasekura Tsunenaga, accompanied by a hundred and fifty-three Japanese and three Franciscan friars, travelled along the river Guadalquivir by boat to the town of Coria del Río. Some Japanese of this diplomatic mission saw in this small town twelve kilometers from Sevilla a paradise on Earth, so decided to live in Coria to profess their new Christian religion safe from persecution taking place in their homeland . This expedition is the origin of the Sevillian surname Japan.