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Colorful paradise: how Japanese people see the aesthetics of beauty

Author: 18.04.2017 | Japan
Japan is the country where people are loyal towards the traditions. The colorful scale did not make an exception – on the contrary, in the worldview of Japanese people it acquired almost divine origination. ‘The color of morning sky’, ‘the depth of night heaven’, ‘the shades after the sunrise’ – in such a way Japanese people called colors that they observed outside. The word ‘color’ became a sort of description of a beloved person. Perhaps, in the colorful intonations of color the most gentle and beautiful feelings concentrated. Today OUTLOOK will tell what the symbolic of flowers in Japan is based on.

Legendary and colorful past

Many Asian legends involve gods into the activity making an emphasis on the divine will that had created everything we see today. Even nowadays one may hear the curious narrations covering the point how at our planet god Idzanami and goddess Idzanagi came embodying In and Yan. Their children, particularly, sun Amaterasu, moonTsukiemi, and wind Susanoo – dreamt of fulfilling the whirlpool emptiness with the bright colors, and let their intention come true on the Earth. Once you will read the legends that became yellow because of old age, and get convinced in simple things. Exactly, in Japanese culture the right combination of colors is equal to the divine decisions. They think, prosperity and blossoming of family and nation depend on the fact if the colors are harmonious. In the divine space only selected ones could live that is why abyss was transformed in the enlightening shining of red and white color. In the middle world where people had a right to dwell, blue and green colors rule. In the meantime, dead people and lowest spirits had to go to the kingdom beyond the grave colored with yellow and black shades.

Photo cs6.livemaster.ru

Uncountable ranges of Japanese colors

Several colors are used by Japanese people starting from the period Azuka (it harkens back to 537-710) while, in general, the system of color perception counts more than five hundred colors. By the way, among the oldest ancestors there are red (aka), black (kuro), white (shiro), and blue (ao) colors. The shades and twilights of a colorful Japanese fairy-tale are concentrated on their ancient fame.

In 603 Prince Shotoko for the first time started mulling over the fact how to introduce the color gamma on the Japanese palette. He offered twelve-level table in the basis of which there were values of Confucianism and five Chinese elements. Particularly, the first two colors represent variants of violet (daitoku and shotoku) and symbolized the king’s dignity and pride. They were followed with the blue shades (daidjin and shodjin), exactly, benevolence and blossoming. Orange colorful decisions (dairei and shorei) were responsible for the morality and innocence. Golden and bright yellow colors stood for the sincerity of intentions and loyalty towards the ideals. White palette (daigi and shogi) told about the benefit of doubt and the supreme principle of justice. Finally, the different shdes of black (daichi and shoichi) were intended for the definition of the highest knowledge and practical skills.

Photo blog.fromjapan.co.jp

Here one needs to take into consideration the class structure of the society as all the aforementioned colors were acceptable for officials whereas suas kinjiki were forbidden by legislative system. In the meantime, the nobility did not have a right to wear a dress coloured in kudje while the shade called yurushiiro was used only among the common people. The sumach (resembling brick) was allowed only for Japanese kings while light-green one revealed the concubines and lovers of the monarchs. Moreover, former emperors of Japan could not hide their has-been glory because they had a compulsory obligation to wear slightly red colors.

Apart from the high attention towards the legends, Japanese people are well-known in the world for their love to nature. It is not surprising that names of flowers have something in common with the words defining several kinds of animals and herbs.

That is why, speaking about the flowers, one cannot keep silence when it comes to floristry. Particularly, one of the colors called as acaneiro was produced during the process of extraction of the color from the root of grass acane by the handworkers. One more example, exactly, askiro represented the color of beans azuki that Japanese consider as the most delicious food, by the way. Consequently, the associations are largely positive when they take to the colors.

Photo turisheva.ru

The representatives of animal world also influenced the colorful combinations of Japanese rainbow. For instance, color nezumi in the speech of local citizens will be concordant with word ‘mouse’ while the verily word describes grey shades. Japanese are going straight forward, exactly, they offer to use the color of ‘grape mouse’ (perhaps, purple grey) which is called as ‘budou nezumi’, mouse Fuji (‘fuji nezumi’) and ‘willow mouse’ (this color varies between light green and grey). Japanese have even the color of tea mouse when in this gradation light brown is flowing to grey.

Flowers and their symbols

Concerning the flowers, one could write the whole tractate and, perhaps, the collected edition. Still, in Japan the number of multicolors is reaching the extreme conditions. Yet, they have several basic colors, and they have more than symbolical meaning.

Marco Polo told to his fellow-countrymen that Japan is famous for the gold bars which lie directly on the road: one may take if you want. It is not surprising that golden color of the hair has been ‘carried’ by the wealthy anime characters, indeed, in their majority they were rapacious, greedy, and jealous while their money has been earned not by the scrupulous way. That is why Japanese people associate yellow color not only with the symbol of abundance and sun; however, they also relate it to the negative consequences where sometimes money leads.

Black color expressed power and presentiment of the forthcoming danger. That is why this color in Japanese culture was the foreboding of destructions, fears, and sorrow. According to tradition, black shades not accumulated with other colors are better not to use in the clothes at the joyful events or interesting occasions.

Photo photos.demandstudios.com

White color is the symbol of dignity. It is considered as the sacred because it expresses purity and innocence that are important values for Japanese people. If one believes to the experts of history, for the same reason white color appears at the national flag.

As Japanese citizens are convinced, red color is concentrated on the tough conflict of feeling and call of duty representing the well-known sensation when overwhelming emotions sink mind in the abyss of contradictions. Breath-taking and flamboyant, this color obtained the place at the flag of Japan making emphasis on the energy, resiliency, and capacity of this nation.

Photo eclecticlightdotcom.files.wordpress.com

Blue color appeared in Japanese culture according to geographic expectations. The islands are bounded by the water, in the same way blue shades resemble calmness and stability. Apart from that, it is considered as the feminine color as male gender does not have to wear it. 

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