お知らせNEWS

2020/07/01

The Blue Mountains

In the old Japanese were using only four color terms: red, black, white, blue. The character “青”(AO) for the blue color, was used to describe the blue and green color as Green was considered a shade of blue.

An example of this use appears in the first collection of Japanese classical poetry ” Man-yōshū”(the Nara era ), particularly the expression “あをによし”(AoNiyoshi) here “Ao” fresh verdure, and “Ni” means a cinnabar red pillar of temples and shrines.

These kinds of pillow words (Makura Kotoba) are used to the dichotomy of colors and to make pairs to adjust the tones of the words or to add to a kind of atmosphere. Therefore it seems that the custom of calling what looks green was called ” blue”, had existed before the “Man-yōshū” period.
 
Blue mountains awaiting you in this beautiful land!
 

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