From Tatiana’s TOMATObase:
- Old heirloom variety from Japan. Vended by Fujita Seed Company, Osaka, Japan.
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), PI 355122. Donated to the USDA by Fujita Seed Co., Japan.
- Here is the Japanese name, probably translates as "world's (best tomato)"
世 界 一
se kai ichi
In searching Japanese sites I found the variety was commonly used in the 1930’s. I even found information about a patent (through google) for a process of producing male sterility in tomatoes (patent application EP 1989011847 filed on Oct 5, 1989). Apparently 4 different varieties were worked with and in the description of the patent the following is stated: “The inbred tomato cultivar "Sekai-ichi" was selected for conversion to male-sterility. According to the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HORTICULTURE, Vol. 6 (Seibundo Shinkosha, 1970), Prof. Taniguchi of Tokyo Higher Agricultural College characterized "Sekai-ichi" in 1933 as a selection from cv. "Ponderosa" or a hybrid obtained via a cross involving cv. "Beefheart." "Sekai-ichi" grows vigorously and abundantly, and is a medium or slow grower. It grows well in places where "Ponderosa" also grows well but is harvested slightly earlier. The fruit of "Sekai-ichi" is pink, flat and larger-than-average, with pointed tops, deep hollows and fimbriae extending to the back.”