Canned food made as early as the Second World War has recently been uncovered in Japan—and it seems to be in surprisingly good condition.

The canned sekihan, or red bean rice, was uncovered in a warehouse’s wooden box in Kagawa prefecture. The 17 “zombie cans” were intended for members of Japan’s navy forces, and were produced in 1944 in a Hiroshima factory, according to Sankei news.

The canned sekihan. Photo: Sankei news.

According to the Okinawa Times, 48-year-old canned food critic Yuto Kurogawa opened one of the 17 cans. “This is beautiful,” said Kurogawa, who looked excited at the sight of the peach-coloured red bean rice.

Canned food critic, Yuto Kurogawa. Photo: Youtube.

Okinawa Times also reported that the red bean rice had a “pineapple” sweet and sour scent. However, Kurogawa did not taste the rice because it smelled like it was fermenting.

He said: “If after examination experts say that the food is safe to eat, I will give it a try.”

YouTube video

The cans reportedly weighed 415 grammes, with a height of 8.5 centimetres and a circumference of 11.5 centimetres.

In June, Chinese Customs uncovered that more than 8 tonnes of “zombie meat,” dating back as early as the 1970s, was smuggled through Hong Kong. In July, over 61 tonnes of “zombie papaya cubes” were also discovered at a cold storage facility in China’s Zhejiang province.

Additional reporting by Ellie Ng.

Eric is currently a Bachelor of Journalism student at the University of Hong Kong. Eric has his finger on the pulse of Hong Kong events and politics. His work has been published on The Guardian, Reuters and ABC News (America).