Tanesashi coast, Aomori

You won’t be surprised to learn the color orange is named after the fruit of that color. You may be surprised, though, to learn Portuguese merchants first brought the fruit to Europe at the end of the 15th century, along with the Arabic name for it: nāranj.

So what did Europeans call that color before the arrival of the fruit? Giallo-rosso in Italian, jaune-rouge in French, yellow-red in English. Almost immediately, the description of the fruit became the name of the color. The first recorded English use of ‘orange’ as a color was in a financial ledger: On 23rd July 1502, a boat was hired for John Ralf to travel from Westminster to London to fetch Margaret Tudor’s orange sarcenet sleeves.

What does that have to do with this lovely image of Japan’s famous Tanesashi coast? Nothing, really. Except the Japanese word for orange is オレンジ, pronounced ‘orenji‘.

Blog photograph copyrighted to the photographer and used with permission by All photographs used on are stored on and are obtained via the flickr API. Text is copyrighted to the author, greg fallis and is used with permission by Please see Show and Share Your Work