Japanese Traditional Colours and their Significance and : lecture + interactive workshop


Your average Japanese Jane or Joe, or rather Takako and Taro, would most of time have a deeper knowledge of colours than the average Westerner. The words for scarlet (kurenaiake), crimson (), and vermilion (shu) and the difference between them are widely known and appreciated.

Japanese has more distinct names for colours than probably any other language in the world. Their names coming from traditional kimono dyes and many of them have a very particular cultural significance for Japanese people. Learn about them, the past and the present of Japanese colours, and how to create perfect (from the Japanese point of view) colour combinations in this interactive workshop.

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擬態語:のろのろ (sluggishly)

のろのろしないで、速くしなさい!Hurry up, don’t drag your feet!

時間がのろのろと過ぎて行った The hours crawled by.

ノロノロ運転 ”slow driving”, going below the speed limit

鈍い (のろい)slow, tardy, dull

鈍間 (のろま)blockhead, dunce, dullard

薄ノロ (うすのろ)  half-wit, simpleton

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擬態語:がつがつ (voraciously)

むさぼり食う様。

がつがつ食べる to wolf down, to gobble up, to devour, to eat voraciously

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井底之蛙: why frogs do not fly

Once they asked a frog who lived at the bottom of a well, ‘Would you like to fly in the sky?’

‘Why the crap would I want to do that?’ quoth the amphibian. ‘Your sky is the size of a handkerchief!’

The Chinese expression 井底之蛙 – jǐng dǐ zhī wā, “frog at the bottom of a well” – condensed from a folk tale, in Japanese is 井底の蛙(せいていのかわず).  Denoting “a person of limited knowledge and experience”, it additionally transpires a tinge of militant ignorance: “I don’t know and I don’t care to know!”

“In the sky full of people, only some want to fly, isn’t that crazy?”


More articles like this: 四字熟語- ancient wisdom in four-letter maxims

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