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Evolution of Color?

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  • deanna.baran
    Does anyone have a good resource they could recommend as to the evolution of Japanese colors? I m currently researching colors for something Heian. Ao is
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 8, 2006
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      Does anyone have a good resource they could recommend as to the
      evolution of Japanese colors? I'm currently researching colors for
      something Heian.

      "Ao" is complicated enough already, but to use it as an example, in
      the Dalby book, it's reproduced as something sort of teal-ish green.
      (Not exact, but say, something along the lines of #1EC1D9 .) According
      to http://www.color-guide.com/e_blue.htm , a Japanese site about
      Japanese colors, ao is more of a primary blue/cobalt kind of color
      (something like a #0C00CC ). According to the excellent site,
      http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/garb/garb.ch14.html , Ao becomes
      something of a hunter green (something like a #465B22 ).

      The forbidden "kurenai" also presents similar problems. Dalby and
      Sengokudaimyou have something similar to #CC0000, but there's a
      mysterious "karakurenai" that's #CC001B according to color-guide,
      which is calling plain "kurenai" as a much more rose-pink #CB4F6F.
      Wikipedia makes mention of a restricted color called Ōtan, #FF4E20,
      which better seems to match the "orangey-scarlet" that kurenai is
      usually described as being.

      I know that color is largely a matter of perception (as well as
      variations between monitor settings), but there's a big difference
      between blue-green, hunter green, and primary blue. When I make my
      outfit, I don't think I'll have a Sei Shonagon to make fun of my poor
      choice of shade... but I'd like to not be totally off in the wrong
      corner of the spectrum. :o)

      Thanks for your help,
      -Deanna
    • Miles Marker
      I think that it is important to use what you believe to be as the color and call it that, even if it is just because you like that shade. What most people
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 9, 2006
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        I think that it is important to use what you believe to be as the
        color and call it that, even if it is just because you like that
        shade. What most people call Teal I think of as Cyan, my Teal color
        is More green-blue than blue-green. And of course when you are dying
        clothing (espcially in earlier time periods) you never got a great
        consistancy of color, one batch would be much darker and richer than
        another. Then comes washing the cloth which would cause fade, etc.
        If you like a shade better than the other, or interpret it to be a
        particular way and you have done your research to prove it can be that
        way, they why fuss? Use what you like. What if the color was derived
        from a particular plant and actually had a different color to it
        depending on where you were, but all areas called it the same color?
        I am currently using a name with an unusual pronunciation, because it
        is what I like. The name Taliesin has been written about by 4
        different scollars and has four varying pronunciations. I am using
        the lightest of these because it is what I like. I pronounce it as if
        it was Talisin, rather than pronouncing it the more forceful way as
        Tally-es-en. (note: name is not of Japanesse origin)

        Miles
        Taliesin (SCA)


        --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "deanna.baran" <deannabaran@...> wrote:
        >
        > Does anyone have a good resource they could recommend as to the
        > evolution of Japanese colors? I'm currently researching colors for
        > something Heian.
        >
        > "Ao" is complicated enough already, but to use it as an example, in
        > the Dalby book, it's reproduced as something sort of teal-ish green.
        > (Not exact, but say, something along the lines of #1EC1D9 .) According
        > to http://www.color-guide.com/e_blue.htm , a Japanese site about
        > Japanese colors, ao is more of a primary blue/cobalt kind of color
        > (something like a #0C00CC ). According to the excellent site,
        > http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/garb/garb.ch14.html , Ao becomes
        > something of a hunter green (something like a #465B22 ).
        >
        > The forbidden "kurenai" also presents similar problems. Dalby and
        > Sengokudaimyou have something similar to #CC0000, but there's a
        > mysterious "karakurenai" that's #CC001B according to color-guide,
        > which is calling plain "kurenai" as a much more rose-pink #CB4F6F.
        > Wikipedia makes mention of a restricted color called Ōtan, #FF4E20,
        > which better seems to match the "orangey-scarlet" that kurenai is
        > usually described as being.
        >
        > I know that color is largely a matter of perception (as well as
        > variations between monitor settings), but there's a big difference
        > between blue-green, hunter green, and primary blue. When I make my
        > outfit, I don't think I'll have a Sei Shonagon to make fun of my poor
        > choice of shade... but I'd like to not be totally off in the wrong
        > corner of the spectrum. :o)
        >
        > Thanks for your help,
        > -Deanna
        >
      • Solveig Throndardottir
        Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... I don t quite understand what you are looking for. There are fairly accessible sources for Heian color combinations
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 9, 2006
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          Noble Cousin!

          Greetings from Solveig!

          > Does anyone have a good resource they could recommend as to the
          > evolution of Japanese colors? I'm currently researching colors for
          > something Heian.

          I don't quite understand what you are looking for. There are fairly
          accessible sources for Heian color combinations and that sort of thing.

          > "Ao" is complicated enough already, but to use it as an example,

          Ao is not complicated at all. It is a broad spectrum color word like
          blue, green, or yellow. In the case of Ao, it spans blue and green.

          > in the Dalby book, it's reproduced as something sort of teal-ish
          > green.
          > (Not exact, but say, something along the lines of #1EC1D9 .)

          Again, it is not a specific chroma, it is a broad category.

          Check out the following:

          http://www.demoivre.org/Japan/textiles/colors/

          The color names are from Kokugo Kokubungaku Techô

          Your Humble Servant
          Solveig Throndardottir
          Amateur Scholar
        • Franzi
          ... I don t have anything easily accessible and English-language to recommend, but I believe Dalby cites her source on colors. It s Nihon Shikimei Taikan
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 9, 2006
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            On Oct 9, 2006, at 1:00 AM, deanna.baran wrote:
            > Does anyone have a good resource they could recommend as to the
            > evolution of Japanese colors? I'm currently researching colors for
            > something Heian.
            I don't have anything easily accessible and English-language to
            recommend, but I believe Dalby cites her source on colors. It's
            Nihon Shikimei Taikan (Encyclopedia of Japanese Color Terms) by
            Uemura Rokurou and Yamazaki Katsuhiro. I would guess that it's
            impossible to find, but there could be something else similar. Are
            you willing to waste some money at amazon.co.jp?
            > "Ao" is complicated enough already, but to use it as an example, in
            > the Dalby book, it's reproduced as something sort of teal-ish green.
            Have a look at p.232. Dalby is quite explicit about what 'ao'
            covered in period and what it covers today. The particular color
            shown in the illustrations is probably her best guess as to the
            version used in that outfit, but it isn't meant to define the entire
            possible range of 'ao'. On p.233, Dalby states that "kurenai is
            usually translated as scarlet or crimson, although during the Heian
            period it seems to have been less harsh or aggressively red than
            those names suggest in English..." (Do have another look at the
            Dalby book--I think she answers a lot of these questions somewhere in
            the text, but you may have to hunt around.)


            --Franzi
          • Solveig Throndardottir
            Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... Not at all impossible: Nihon shikimei taikan / Rokuro Uemura; Katsuhiro Yamazaki 1943 Japanese Book 83, 5 p. : ill.
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 9, 2006
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              Noble Cousin!

              Greetings from Solveig!
              > I don't have anything easily accessible and English-language to
              > recommend, but I believe Dalby cites her source on colors. It's
              > Nihon Shikimei Taikan (Encyclopedia of Japanese Color Terms) by
              > Uemura Rokurou and Yamazaki Katsuhiro. I would guess that it's
              > impossible to find, but there could be something else similar.
              Not at all impossible:


              Nihon shikimei taikan /
              Rokuro Uemura; Katsuhiro Yamazaki
              1943
              Japanese
              Book 83, 5 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
              Tokyo : Kocho Shorin,
              Availability:
              Check the catalogs in your library.
              Libraries worldwide that own item: 8
              Entry:
              19920902
              Update:
              20041209
              Accession No:
              OCLC: 33767420
              Database:
              WorldCat

              As for "aoi" itself. Kodansha Kogojiten claims that the range of
              colors from blue to green is the primary meaning.
              However, there are other meanings including GRAY or silvery in the
              context of the "Awo'uma" festival. This festival
              is written with either the kanji for ao or the kanji for shiro, but
              is read as "awo'uma". To confuse things even more,
              "ao" can be used in reference to certain horses with blue/black
              coats. kodansha goes on to note that while the
              horses in the "Awo'uma" festival originally had "awo" coats, this was
              chaged to white "shiro" (white) coats during
              the Heian period.

              Your Humble Servant
              Solveig Throndardottir
              Amateur Scholar



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • deanna.baran
              Thank you to everyone for your input. I have zero capacity for pairing colors, so everyone s comments have helped me greatly. Thanks! -Deanna
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 10, 2006
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                Thank you to everyone for your input. I have zero capacity for pairing
                colors, so everyone's comments have helped me greatly.

                Thanks!
                -Deanna
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