Thinking about where you live (or a place that you love)… what color would you choose to represent that place?
Maybe the bright blue of the sky? Or the steely grey of buildings?
Last summer, I asked this question to a bunch of graduate students in Japan.
We were all part of a graduate summer research program funded by the National Science Foundation. Our group spent two months in Japan conducting research for our separate graduate programs, and (hopefully) creating new international collaborations.
So what color did my fellow students think best represented Japan? GREEN!
This cool graphic (made by my mom!) shows the responses of all the students. Each colored square reflects the response of one program participant.
When asked, “What color would you choose to represent Japan?”…
- 21 students answered”green”
- 4 students answered “blue”
- 3 students answered “grey”
- 2 students answered “orange”
- 1 student answered “beige”
- 1 student answered “purple”
I never expected so much GREEN in Japan!
When you think of Japan, you might think of the crowded neon-lit landscape of Tokyo. Before going, I expected a dense, urban, crowded, man-built landscape. Something like this…
But I was pleasantly surprised to see that in fact, in Japan there is a lot more beautiful countryside and green than I ever expected.
I saw a lot more like this… (Me working in a rice field near the northern edge of Lake Biwa)
The Word “Green” In Japan
I saw lots of green in Japan and I also learned about the color green.
Green is a special color to me. It is K’s favorite color. (Thankfully green nicely complements my favorite color blue.) It is the color of my dad’s eyes. It is the color of the leafy green vegetables that I love so much.
In the United States, “green” is the color for “go.” The traffic light goes GREEN, yellow, and then red.
In Japan… the color “blue” is sometimes used instead of “green” Traffic lights in Japan go BLUE, yellow, and then red. Ah Japan, the land where “red” means stop and “blue” means go.
Aside from the traffic lights… there is lots more gorgeous green in Japan! Here are some of my favorites.
Thank you dear reader for stopping by! Leave any thoughts, comments, or questions below.
See you again on Monday! I post new recipes and random musings on Japan here every week.