Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Oranjay, Mikan-chan and Iyo Kahn

Ehime has put a great deal of effort into developing its mascots, and chose a theme that resonates well with fans, in this somewhat rural, citrus-growing region. The tangerine orchards of Ehime have been famous since the Edo era, and more recently farmers have branched out into other varieties of citrus fruit. The region had no difficulty deciding on an appropriate character, but the magnificent designs of Oranjay and his friends are admired even by fans of rival teams, despite the bad puns that underlie their names.

Oran-Jay is the main character, and nobody needs an explanation of how he got his name. The Japanese word for tangerine is "Mikan", and consequently Oranjay's female sidekick is named "Mikan-chan". The best pun of all comes from the towering mascot clad in a goalkeeper's uniform. The old, Edo-era name for Ehime prefectuer was "Iyo", and a particularly large and pulpy tangerine still bears the varietal name "Iyo Mikan". In 2006, Ehime's design crew was planning to add two characters to complement Oranjay, one of the World Cup heroes was German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. The similarity of this name was too hard for the designers to resist -- the result was Iyo Kahn.  

As team mascots go, the Ehime trio is hard to beat. What could be more daunting for an opponent than to find themselves staring face to face with a slightly deranged-looking fruit

Ehime FC -- Team Uniforms (2007-present)

Click on the small pictures to see a larger-size image

07-08 (H) 07-08 (A) 2009 (H) 2009 (A) 2010 (H) 2010 (A)  
2011 (H) 2011 (A) 2012 (H) 2012 (A) 2013 (H) 2013 (A)
2014 (H) 2014 (A) 2015 (H) 2015 (A) 2016 (H) 2016 (A)
2017 (H) 2017 (A) 2018 (H) 2018 (A) 2019 (H) 2019 (A)
2020 (H) 2020 (A) 2021 (H) 2021 (A) 2022 (H) 2022 (A)