asagi color

. The Colors of Edo .

asagi あさぎ - 浅黄 hues of light yellow, 浅葱 green and blue


- - - asagi 浅黄 #edd3a1

and the connection with leek 葱 :

CLICK for more color samples !

asagi あさぎ - 浅葱 the color of the leaves of leek, a pale green with a touch of indigo-blue.

There are quite a few traditional Japanese colors named NEGI.

moegi iro 萌葱色もえぎいろ #006e54

usu moegi 薄萌葱うすもえぎ #badcad

mizu asagi 水浅葱みずあさぎ #80aba9

sabi asagi 錆浅葱さびあさぎ #5c9291

asagi iro 浅葱色あさぎいろ #00a3af

hana asagi 花浅葱はなあさぎ #2a83a2

toki asagi 鴇浅葱ときあさぎ #b88884

The Japanese word NEGI 葱 (ねぎ) includes a lot of varieties, according to its age and place of growth.
. Negi and its colors .

How blue are green apples in Japan ?
aoringo 青林檎 "blue apples" - green apples
. Green (midori 緑) and blue (aoi 青) .

Japanese, in contrast with Westerners, grasp colors on an intuitively horizontal plane, and pay little heed to the influences of light. Colors whether intense of soft, are identified not so much on the basis of reflected light or shadow, but in terms of the meaning or feeling associated with them.
Henry Dreyfus
. WKD - The Colors of Edo .

- - - - -

Traditional Colors of Japan
source : www.colordic.org

Color Sample : asagi
source : www.color-sample.com


source : srnm5men.seesaa.net

asagiura, asagi ura 浅葱裏 inner lining of a kimono in ASAGI colors
used for the lining of indigo-blue samurai coats and favored by the courtesans of Yoshiwara.

Senryu from the Edo period



asagiura, asagi-ura 浅黄裏
Apart from the color, this word refers to
A name for low-ranking, unrefined Samurai coming to the city from the countryside.
yaboten 野暮天 boorishness; coarseness; stupidity
When these Samurai begun to wear asagi-colored Kimono, the real Edokko stopped using this color.
These Samurai became the topic of Rakugo stories and other 洒落本 books

浅黄裏行状記 “Asagiura gyōjōki – inakazamurai no yūtō”


source : cultural-assets.fujinaka-kousan.co

asaji jikiri choo moyoo chooken 浅葱地桐蝶模様長絹

chooken 長絹 a type of haori coat
with patterns of paulownia and butterflies


- - - - - H A I K U - - - - -

ajisai ya katabira doki no usu-asagi

these hydrangeas -
time for a linen kimono
in light blue

MORE - katabira 帷子 light kimono
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

nori jiru no tegiwa misekeri asagi wan

he is so skillfull
at serving seaweed soup -
in this laquer bowl

Tr. Gabi Greve

asagiwan 浅葱椀  "blue laquer bowl"
asagiwan 浅椀  "yellow laquer bowl" with the kanji used by Basho.

The bowls are covered with black laquer and then decorated with golden flower and bird design or other patterns.

Written in 1684 貞亨元年.
He visited his disciple Kasuya Chiri 粕谷千里, who lived in Asakusa, Edo, a place famous for its nori even today.

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - pots and plates -.


. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .

erimaki no asagi ni nokoru samusa kana

in the light blue of the scarf
winter's cold

This captures the chill of an early spring day through the color of the woman's scarf. It makes one wonder if the color is not indicative of the woman's age, looks, and even character.
Tr. and comment - Makoto Ueda

Erimaki long and wide mufflers were often worn by ill people and the elderly.

nokoru samusa is a kigo for early spring.

. erimaki 襟巻 muffler, scarf .
- kigo for winter -


otonashi ya chou mo asagi no idetachi wa

how reserved
blue-green clothes
even on you, butterfly

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku is from the 3rd month (April) of 1821, three months after Issa's infant son Ishitaro (Rock Man) died of suffocation on his mother's back as she worked. Both Issa and his wife seem to have been deeply affected by the death, and about three weeks after this hokku was written, his wife had a serious attack of gout.

The color of the butterfly is a medium blue-green that's a little darker than aqua and a little brighter than teal (see the links below). In contemporary Japanese the color is often taken to refer to pale blue, but this is a modern innovation. In Issa's time it was, as its name (literally "light onion-stalk color") suggests, a light shade of the bluish green of onion stalks. To Issa this blue-green seems quiet and reserved, so he must be comparing the color with the orange, yellow and other bright colors of more out-front butterflies. In addition to this comparison, Issa may be invoking the cultural connotations of this blue-green. For centuries it had been the color of cloaks worn by bureaucrats of the rather low fifth and sixth ranks in the hierarchy at the imperial court.

Thus the color came to signify something second-rate or not outstanding.
It was also used as a term of derision for country samurai who came to Edo and daily put their ignorance of urban culture on display, and the color is still widely used by, for example, ordinary Shinto priests. The fact that the first character of 'light onion stalk color' is written with the character 浅, asa-, 'shallow, superficial, slight, light,' also gave rise to expressions that criticized people for those qualities: for example,

to talk light onion stalk color, asagi ni iu, meant 'to speak glibly,' and
to do light onion stalk color, asagi ni suru, meant 'to do something half-heartedly or sloppily; to deliberately carry a palanquin slowly in order to charge riders more money.'

Issa seems to be drawing on this cluster of meanings and is perhaps bantering with the butterfly, asking it if it is really as reserved and slight/superficial as its color suggests. He may in this way be encouraging the butterfly not to be satisfied with being second-rate and easily overlooked and to use its quiet color as a way of being in the world that is quite active and shows humans how to live.

This hokku is part of a three-verse series of hokku about butterflies in Issa's diaries. Three verses aren't very many, so the three hokku may not be intended as a series, but, as so often in Issa's diaries, it's quite possible that the three are intended to reverberate together. This compositional habit of Issa, which is clearer in his haibun works, in some ways make his various hokku series in his diaries the precursors of more formal hokku series written by 20th-century haiku poets. I give all three hokku here so readers can decide for themselves.
Here's the previous hokku in Issa's diary, the first of the three:

chou ori-ori zutsuu o namete kureru nari

sometimes butterflies
give me the gift of
ignoring my troubles

The first line has seven syllables, perhaps to indicate how butterflies always seem to visit him at the right time. Their intermittent playful flitting and their unpredictable flight paths at unthinkable angles and speeds show they aren't concerned about Issa's "headaches" (probably here meaning his troubles), yet their grace and lack of concern allow Issa, too, to forget his troubles for a time.
Then the second hokku:

yo no naka o asaki kokoro ya asagi-chou

blue-green butterfly
you don't take
this world seriously

In this hokku the name of the butterfly (in the third line) is given in phonetic kana script, presumably to avoid repeating the character in asaki 浅き, 'shallow, frivolous, superficial.' I take this phonetic rendering to be Issa's way of suggesting that he means 'shallow' to have two senses here: 1) the butterfly constantly flits around the world in a superficial manner and 2) the butterfly knows enough to avoid being attached to the transient, constantly changing things of this world. In this context, the second hokku may be an oblique address to the butterfly acknowledging its right to wear quiet, reserved clothes but also praising its active detachment based on its apparent instinctive knowledge of the real processes making up the visible world.
Of course the Daoist thinker Zhuangzi's famous dream of being a butterfly, a dream that left him unable to deny that he might be a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi, was known in Japan and is probably in the background of these hokku.

In the Edo Period people commonly used 'light yellow' to mean 'blue-green.' Whew!

Chris Drake

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

. The Butterfly Dream and Chuang-Tsu (Chuang Tzu 荘子) .

asagi madara アサギマダラ, 浅葱斑 The Chestnut Tiger
Parantica sita
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


ten to chi no sakai wa asagi yuki no hate

the border between
heaven and earth is pale blue -
as far as the snow reaches

Tr. Gabi Greve

Ishijima Gake 石嶌岳

. WKD - Blue Colors of the Sky .


けふ秋や朝浴暮浴山浅葱 松根東洋城
さざなみに馴染む鹿の子浅葱の瞳 佐川広治
ほほづき市髪の手絡は水浅葱 今泉貞鳳
便りせむ安房は浅葱の朝がすみ 大屋達治 龍宮
冬水の行方浅葱の扉なす空 安東次男 裏山
夏河は洲の白水の浅葱かな 川崎展宏
夏芝居撒き手拭は水浅葱 長谷川かな女 花寂び
天と地の境は浅葱雪の果 石嶌岳
山はまだいろの浅葱や初ざくら 森澄雄
朝顔の浅葱普羅忌のくもり空 文挟夫佐恵 黄 瀬
業平の祭浅葱に晴れたる日 後藤夜半 底紅
神官の浅葱の袴掃初め 木村登志子

秋の蛾の魔力と思う浅葱色 瀬尾教子
音羽屋の浅葱小袖も二月かな 作田 幸子
高原の老鷲の唄みづ浅葱 伊藤敬子
鵜飼待つ空のさざ波水浅葱 平賀扶人
source : HAIKUreikuDB


- #asagicolor -

No comments: