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不知火 果実.jpg
Dekopon on tree
Hybrid parentageKiyomi x ponkan
(C. unshiu x sinensis) x C. poonensis
Origindeveloped in Japan in 1972

Dekopon (デコポン) is a seedless and sweet variety of satsuma orange.

It is a hybrid between Kiyomi and ponkan (Nakano no.3), developed in Japan in 1972.[1][2]

Originally a brand name, "Dekopon" has become a genericized trademark and it is used to refer to all brands of the fruit; the generic name is shiranuhi or shiranui (不知火).[1][2] Dekopon is distinctive due to its sweet taste, large size and the large protruding bump on the top of the fruit.


The name is most likely a portmanteau between the word deko (凸, デコ; meaning convex) as a reference to its bump, and the pon in ponkan (ポンカン; one of the fruits that it is derived from) to create "dekopon" (デコポン).[3]

There were many market names for dekopon during the time the name was a trademark of the product from Kumamoto. For instance, himepon was the market name for the fruits originating from Ehime prefecture. The ones grown in Hiroshima prefecture were marketed as hiropon. After an agreement whereby anyone could use the name "dekopon" by paying a fee and meeting certain quality standards, the name was used for the fruit no matter where it came from in Japan.[3]

'Dekopon' does not have an agricultural variety registration number (Nōrin Bangō)[4] because of its bump, which at the time of its development was considered to be unsightly, and failure to reduce acidity in the fruit.[5]


The fruits are usually grown in large greenhouses to keep them at a constant temperature, and are harvested from December to February (winter in Japan). In the case of garden farming, they are harvested from March to April.[6] After harvesting, dekopon are usually left for a period of 20–40 days so that the levels of citric acid in the fruit decrease, while the sugar levels increase to make a more appealing taste to market. Only products with sugar level above 13°Bx and citric acid below 1.0% can be sold with the name dekopon.[7]

2006 Area under cultivation of Citrus in Japan (hectares)[8][9]
No. Variety Area under cultivation
1 Mikan 46,001 (64.3%)
2 Iyokan 4,677 (6.5%)
3 Dekopon 3,068 (4.3%)
4 Natsumikan 2,800 (3.9%)
5 Ponkan 2,260 (3.2%)
Total 71,515 (100%)

Outside Japan[edit]

In Brazil, dekopon is marketed under the brand name of Kinsei which derived from the Japanese word for Venus.[10] Brazilian farmers have succeeded in adapting the variety to tropical to temperate climate in the highlands of São Paulo state. The work was done by Unkichi Taniwaki, a farmer of Japanese origin.[10] Kinsei is easily harvested from May to September. In the high season for kinsei, each fruit costs around US$0.50 at the Brazilian street market and supermarkets.[citation needed]

In South Korea and Azerbaijan[11] dekopon is called hallabong (한라봉) named after Hallasan, the mountain located in Jeju Island, where it is primarily grown.[12]

The citrus budwood was imported into the United States in 1998 by a California citrus grower, Brad Stark Jr. The rights to the sterilized budwood were purchased in 2005 by the Griffith family, owners of the nursery TreeSource and packing facility Suntreat.[13] The dekopon was released as a commercial product in the US under the name "Sumo Citrus" in early 2011.[14][15]


Dekopon have become so popular in Japan that the chewing candy brand giant Hi-Chew (ハイチュウ) has released a limited-edition dekopon flavor.[16]

In commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the first shipment of dekopon, Japan Fruit Growers Cooperative Association designated 1 March "Dekopon day" in 2006.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Shiranuhi (不知火)" (in Japanese). National Institute of Fruit Tree Science. Archived from the original on 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  2. ^ a b Matsumoto, Ryoji (2001). "'Shiranuhi', A late-maturing Citrus Cultivar" (PDF). Bulletin of National Institute of Fruit Tree Science (in Japanese). National Institute of Fruit Tree Science. 35: 115–120.
  3. ^ a b Gordenker, Alice (22 January 2009). "Dekopon". The Japan Times. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act: Article 18 (Variety Registration)". Ministry of Justice.
  5. ^ "NIFTS News No.18" (PDF) (in Japanese). National Institute of Fruit Tree Science. 2007. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
  6. ^ "Dekopon" (in Japanese). Maruka-ishikawa.
  7. ^ "Dekopon" (in Japanese). Zen-Noh (National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations). January 2009. pp. 2–5. Archived from the original on 2009-07-03.
  8. ^ "2006 The area under cultivation of Mikan" (in Japanese). National Institute of Fruit Tree Science. Archived from the original on 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
  9. ^ "2006 The area under cultivation of Citrus (except for Mikan)" (in Japanese). National Institute of Fruit Tree Science. Archived from the original on 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
  10. ^ a b "Launching Ceremony Of Tangor Kinsei" (in Portuguese). Instituto de Pesquisas Técnica e Difusões Agropecuárias da JATAK. 24 October 2007. Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  11. ^ İlham Əliyev Lənkəranda "Gilan Orchards" MMC tərəfindən salınmış sitrus bağları ilə tanış olub., 02.09.2017 (in Azerbaijani)
  12. ^ 이, 시연 (November 27, 2017). "요즘 많이 먹는 귤, '족보' 따져 보니…". 조선일보. South Korea. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  13. ^ "The History of Griffith Farms". Archived from the original on 2015-02-03.
  14. ^ Karp, David (2011-02-17). "The Dekopon arrives in California". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2015-03-18. Retrieved 2015-02-03. I first heard about the Dekopon in December 1998 from Brad Stark Jr.
  15. ^ "How one determined Trader Joe's shopper made this ugly orange go viral". 31 March 2022.
  16. ^ 『ハイチュウ<デコポン>』 新発売! [Hi-Chew<Dekopon> Now on sale!] (in Japanese). Morinaga & Company. October 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20.
  17. ^ "Dekopon day" (in Japanese). Japan Fruit Growers Cooperative Association.

External links[edit]