Do you know "melon bread" in Japan?
The "melon bread" does not include melon and any fruits, and
does not have the melon taste and smell.
The lower is a typical "melon bread".
Now, you can easily understand the reason.
The surface pattern is similar to the melon itself.
At first, the bread was not called as "melon bread" but "sunrise".
It simulated the shape of sun almost 100 years ago.
After several tens years had passed, the melon fruit become popular and
the name of "sunrise bread" was changed to "melon bread".
The upper bread in the photograph is also called as "melon bread".
It is the original version of the "melon bread" developed about 100 years ago
in Kobe and Kyoto. After the recent version of "melon bread", called as "sunrize"
originally, becomes popular, the original version becomes minor.
Why did Japanese people to make a melon-shaped bread?
About 100 years ago, the fruits of melon was quite rare in Japan.
Also the bread itself was rare. I think both of the melon fruit and bread
are kinds of symbol for "trendy goods" or "mode" at that time.
It is easily understood that a baker tried to combine these novel things
for his new item. This is my guess.
Finally, do you know a Japanese word of "bread".
For example, the "melon bread" is called as "melon pan" in Japanese.
It is not a saucepan made by melon :P