Ukon no Tachibana (右近橘)
Ukon no Tachibana (the mandarin orange tree of Ukon) is a mandarin orange tree which existed on the right of the South floor down from the Shishin-den Hall (hall for state ceremonies) of the Imperial Palace in the Heian-kyo. It faced Sakon no sakura, the cherry tree of Sakon.
According to "Tenryaku Gyoki," the emperor's diary, the tree originally existed at the residence of HATA no Kawakatsu; it was replanted in the Shishin-den Hall when the Imperial Palace was built as the land was related to the residence, and existed until the Tentoku era (957 to 961). According to "Nihon Kiryaku" (the Abstracted Records of Japan), a new mandarin orange tree having a height of 12 feet was transplanted on December 7, 959; it was the tree of Prince Higashi-Sanjo, Danjonokami, Governor of the Impeachment Office, and it was planted under the Emperor's ordinance. Later, the tree was sometimes transplanted due to reasons including a fire at the Imperial Palace; it was also transplanted to the temporary imperial residence. A mandarin orange tree was transplanted not only for its relation with Kawakatsu; with the name of "Tokijikuno Kakuno-konomi," an ever-shining fruit, it was treated as a symbol of long life and auspiciousness since old times due to its always having dense leaves regardless of the difference in temperature.
Ukon no Tachibana is sometimes displayed on a tiered stand at Doll's Festival.