FC Tokyo is an unusual example of a club that missed the original creation of the J.League and subsequent expansion phase, yet which was highly successful both before and after the launch of professional football in Japan. The club, based in western Tokyo, originated as the company team of Tokyo Gas, and was located in the western suburbs of Tokyo. When the J.League was formed, Tokyo Gas opted to remain in the JFL, where it was one of the most successful club teams. When the league was reconstituted for a second time, ihowever, Tokyo Gas FC decided it was time to make the jump to professional status. Tokyo Gas was persuaded to grant it corporate independence, and it assumed the name FC Tokyo.
Though that might sound like a fairly typical name, for most oversaeas fans, at the time FC Tokyo joined the J2 it was the only team in the J.League without descriptive name derived from some European language. This "plain vanilla" concept carried over into all elements of the team's self-image, including the plain-looking logo mark and the absence of any mascot character. It was not until 2009 that the club finally gave in to the demands of fans (and the lure of merchandising dollars) and created a mascot character based on the "Tanuki" (raccoon dog).