Color Chronicles: "Sakurairo" for a Spring Day

For those who have visited the Land of the Rising Sun, you've most likely witnessed the beautiful blooms of cherry blossom trees in springtime. There's something unique yet refreshing in seeing everything pink in the daylight. The cast of light through the leaves leave a pinkish glow to everything it touches, too.

While we Westerners refer to the color as simply 'pink', for Japan, the particular color of cherry blossoms is called “sakurairo”.

Credits: catfordst, amywai & akio_nakai

In the West, the cherry color may appear more saturated, more akin to the luscious shade of cherry peel, but in Japan, cherry is a mute pastel color referring to the_Prunus serrulata_ .

Japanese color site Irocore described sakurairo (桜色) as a pale crimson color that is similar to the petals of one of Japan's national flowers, sakura, or the cherry blossom. The term was first used during the Heian Period, appearing in the “Kokin Wakashu”, an early anthology of the Japanese waka poetry.

Credits: pinkbutterfly, akio_nakai & xsara

The color of the sakura's been a favorite detail among Japanese writers, poets and litterateurs such as Kobayashi Issa, Masaoka Shiki and Yosa Buson. The pink petals are the main motifs of their poems, signifying the concept of mono no aware, or the beauty of impermanence. It's the ephemeral nature of the petals that make them beautiful and volatile.

If pay enough attention to Japanese art and culture, you'd find the color of sakurairo everywhere as the color is used to create an ambient effect. The natural light that bounces off the sakurairo on cherry blossom trees create this pinkish afterglow in outdoor photography.

2018-04-28 #culture #color-chronicles #sakurairo

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