Taiyoo no iro
The color of the sun
If you ask "What color is the sun" most Japanese will answer, "Red."
What color do you draw the sun? And what kinds of things do you
associate with the color red?
Hi no maru
The "rising sun"; Japan's national flag
Japan's flag consists of a red sun on a white ground. Flags have
been used from long ago as symbols of a nation and its people. One
can get a glimpse of a country's culture by seeing how colors, not
to mention motifs, are used to express geographical location, religious
beliefs, ways of thinking, and traditions. The round red ball on
Japan's flag represents the sun, but for other countries, red can
represent blood, revolution, independence, courage, soldiers, love,
communism, fire, and zeal. What colors are used in the flag of your
country? What do the colors in the flag signify ?
Koohaku no mizuhiki
Red and white gift wrap string ornaments
Mizuhiki are made by rolling thin strips of paper into strings
which are then covered with glue and dried.
Red and white are colors used to decorate and enhance places where
auspicious and happy occasions are held. The photograph shows shuugi-bukuro
, gift wrap string ornaments for weddings
and other auspicious occasions.
A newborn baby is bright red, thus the name.
Red and white bean-jam sweets
Pairs of red and white manjuu are frequently presented as
gifts to guests attending wedding receptions, and other auspicious
Rice cooled with azuki beans.
Like koohaku manjuu, sekihan is a dish freqently served
on auspicious occasions.
Red and white team competition
Competitors at elementary schools and of other groups are usually
divided into "red" and "white" teams. When large groups are divided
into several teams, other colors such as blue, yellow, and green
may be used, but whenever there are two sides, they are usually
called the "red" and "white" teams.
Doll representing the meditating figure of Daruma (Bodhidharma),
the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. The base of the figure
is weighted so that even when toppled over, the doll stands upright
again. The eyes are simply a pair of white circles, as here. You
make a wish and paint in one eye. When the wish comes true, you
can celebrate by painting in the other.
: Embarrassment, to blush
Makka ni natte okoru
: Grow red with anger
: Red ink, deficit spending, loss (cf., kuroji
: black ink, profits)
Aka no tanin
: A complete or perfect stranger