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Ki-mikan (黄蜜柑) or Ōgonkan (黄金柑)
Ōgonkan grown in Ehime Prefecture
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. flaviculpus
Binomial name
Citrus flaviculpus hort. ex. Tanaka

Ōgonkan (黄金柑, "golden citrus") or Ki-mikan (黄蜜柑, "yellow mikan") are the common names for a small sized variety of Japanese citrus, whose rind is of a characteristic "golden" bright yellow color.

The variety has been published as the species Citrus flaviculpus by Chōzaburō Tanaka in his 160-species scheme, but this is considered an effort of a "splitter," as opposed to Swingle's classification system which is generally preferred in the West.

Alternate spellings (romanizations) include "Ougonkan"[1] or "Ogon-kan".[2] It has also been called "Golden orange" in Kanagawa Prefecture.


The variety has long been known in Kagoshima Prefecture as Ki-mikan (黄蜜柑, "yellow mikan") but, precise origins are unknown.[3]

According to one assertion, it has been known in Higashi-ichiki-chō (ja) and its neighborhood (now Hioki, Kagoshima) since the Meiji Period.[citation needed] Anecdotally in this Hioki area, it has been told that the variety was either introduced by the Jesuit Francisco de Xavier[citation needed], or brought back from the Korean Peninsula during the campaigns in the late 16th century (Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea).[citation needed]. It has been suggested that the name "Ōgonkan" was dubbed by Harutarō Muramatsu (村松春太郎) who introduced the variety to Ehime Prefecture,[citation needed] but this too is poorly documented.


The small fruit has a diameter of 4 to 5 cm, weighing 60 to 80 g.[4] The rind, which is bright yellow, can be peeled by hand but with difficulty.[5] It issues a distinct fragrance, and is considerably sweet tasting, with some balancing acidity. Harvested from February to April. Seedless (Self-incompatibility) traits have been observed.[6]

Its fragrances is similar to the Hyuganatsu, which is another bright yellow citrus that is larger-sized,[4] but somewhat sweeter by comparison. And like the Hyuganatsu, the white pith (albedo) may be eaten.[4]

The rind's cold-pressed oil has been studied for fragrance factors, and was found to contain limonene (roughly 80%), followed by the monoterpene Gamma-terpinene (10%), trans beta-farnesene, and myrcene,[7] showing similarity to Hyuganatsu's peel profile, though with quantitative differences in concentrations.[7]

Regional production[edit]

According to government (MAFF) statistics for FY2010, crop yield of the Ōgonkan totaled 137.3 t (metric tons) in all of Japan, with 108.2 t shipped to market, none of it classed as processed goods (i.e., juices, etc.) in the statistics. Kanagawa Prefecture produced 93.4 t, representing 68% of the national total, followed by Shizuoka Prefecture with 25.0 t (18%), Ehime Prefecture with 13.9 t, and Kōchi Prefecture with 5.0 t.[8] Major cultivating areas listed are Odawara and Yugawaracho (Kanagawa pref.), Numazu, Shizuoka, Uwajima, Seiyo, Imabari (Ehime pref.), and Kōnan, Kōchi.[8]

Hybrid crossing[edit]

The Ōgonkan was the pollinating parent for the hybrid cultivar Hime-Koharu (媛小春) developed by Ehime Prefecture, and was the seed parent of Shonan Gold developed by Kanagawa Prefecture.[1][2][4][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shigematsu et al. 2008
  2. ^ a b Manago et al. 2004
  3. ^ Manago et al. 2004, p. 36. This source further cites: 岩政, 正男 (Iwamasa, Masao) (1976). 柑橘の品種 (Kankitsu no hinshu). 静岡県柑橘農業協同組合連合会. p. 229. , 田中, 諭一郎 (Tanaka, Yuichiro) (1980). 日本柑橘図譜 続篇(Nihon kankitsu zufu zokuhen). 養賢堂. pp. 78–80. , and 日本果樹種苗協会 (Nihon kaju shubyō kyōkai (2003). 特産のくだもの マンダリン類 (Tokusan no kudamono mandarin rui. 1. 日本果樹種苗協会. pp. 38–45. 
  4. ^ a b c d Choi & Sawamura 2001, p. 48
  5. ^ Manago et al. 2004, p. 36
  6. ^ Yamamoto, Kubo & Tominaga 2006
  7. ^ a b Choi & Sawamura 2001
  8. ^ a b 農林水産省(MAFF). "特産果樹生産出荷実績調査 (Tokusan kaju seisan shukka jisseki chōsa)". Retrieved February 2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help) 都道府県別 平成22年産 (Citrus production statistics by prefecture, FY 2010) Excel
  9. ^ MAFF. "登録品種データベース (Register kind database)". Retrieved 2012-10-25.  媛小春(Hime-Koharu 17067)湘南ゴールド(Shonan Gold 11469) (English page links provided, but without any substantive description)


In Japanese with English abstracts
  • 真子, 正史; 鈴木, 伸一; 鈴木, 誠; 浅田, 真一 (2004). カンキツ新品種'湘南ゴールド . 神奈川県農業総合研究所報告 (in Japanese). 145: 35–41. JGLOBAL ID:200902245650237565.  (w/English title and abstract) Agriknowledge (with PDF link); Agri-kanagawa (pdf)
    =Manago, Masafumi; Suzuki, Sin-ichi; Suzuki, Makoto; Asada, Shin-ichi (2004). "Kankitsu shin hinshu shōnan gōrudo (A New Citrus Cultivar 'Shonan-gold')" (agris). Bulletin of the Kanagawa Prefectural Agricultural Research Institute). 145: 35–41. ISSN 0388-8231. 
  • 重松幸典; 喜多景治; 薬師寺弘倫; 石川啓; 石川啓 (March 2008). "カンキツ新品種'媛小春'について". 愛媛県立果樹試験場研究報告. 22: 5–8. , JGLOBAL ID:200902281400290696, (pdf)
    =Shigematsu, Yukinori; Kita, Kageharu; Yakushiji, H.; Ishikawa, K (March 2008). Nakata, H. "The New Citrus cultivar'Himekoharu'". Bulletin of Ehime Fruit Tree Experiment Station. 22: 5–8. ISSN 0389-2867. 

External links[edit]