This demonstrates that even common words may not have simple translations. Ao , one of the oldest color words in Japanese, was once much broader in application. In several still common words, it denotes the vivid green of fresh vegetation, as in early summer. Examples include aoba fresh foliage , aona leafy green vegetables , aomame green soybeans or peas , and even the prefectural name Aomori, which according to one explanation originally referred to the green juniper bushes covering a small hill in what is now the prefectural capital. The word ao has also been used historically for a broad range of colors tending toward other shades, including black, white, and gray.
Traditional Japanese Colors: Why Green Isn’t a Color in Japan
Is this green or blue in Japanese? | IroMegane
Japan is a country steeped in tradition and they use the beautiful language of colors in their art, dresses, phrases and rituals. Even though western influences have changed several associations of colors, especially in art and dresses; some of the traditional color meanings are still valid today. Certain colors are very important at weddings and other rituals. There are many timeless rules associated with kimono colors as well. So let us take a look at what these different colors mean.
Well, today it is. It was thought of as just another shade of blue. In fact there are many green things today that the Japanese still refer to as ao. Like green vegetables are blue, green traffic lights are blue, and even when someone is young or new at something, they are thought to be the color blue, instead of green. Instead of being based on 7 basic colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet the Japanese color system is thought of in different spectrums.
Japanese society has long-standing traditions that have shaped the Japanese for millennia. Specifically, colors have symbolic associations that appear in Japanese art, dress and rituals. Many colors have maintained those meanings even as Japanese society rapidly changes. Drawing inspiration from nature and historical texts, Japanese color symbolism helps identify the emotional state or desires of those wearing or celebrating with certain colors.