Green (midori, ao)

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Green (midori, aoi )

***** Location: Japan, worldwide
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Let us explore the color green in various kigo.

GREEN in Japanese can be

midori ミドリ 緑
aoi .... あおい 青 

ao-shingo, aoshingo 青信号 is the green traffic light.
The blue sky is called aozora 青空.
A pale face is all green, massao 真青.

midorigo 嬰児is a newborn baby, a green one, in the haiku world, whereas normally it is called the red one, aka-chan 赤ちゃん.

Sometimes AO is blue, like the blue mountains we see over there, sometimes it is green, like in ao-ringo, green apples (the unripe fruit).

And midori is the green I call green, like in the green tea we drink here.

Gabi Greve, Our Discussion about Green Apples and Haiku

for heaven and water


According to the Erh Ya, one of the earliest Chinese dictionaries, green is the color of spring, red is the color of summer, white is the color of autumn, and black is the color of winter. The spirit of autumn is clear and white.
World Kigo Database : Wind


Chart of Traditional Japanese Colors

Nr. 26 - 55 are shades of AO 青
Nr. 54.55 are aomidori, blue-green 青緑 ( あおみどり )
Nr. 106.107 are light green, asamidori 浅緑
Nr. 145 dark green, anryokushoku 暗緑色
Nr. 218 - 222 are shades of midori
Nr. 1197 and following are midori
Nr. 1312 and following are green of leaves and bamboo

Best look for yourself ! !!!!!

Kigo for Spring

young green, wakamidori 若緑 is a general term for the pines when they start growing.
............................ also called
green of the pine, matsu no midori 松の緑,
first green, hatsu midori 初緑
green starts to stand up, midori tatsu 緑立つ

hamamichi ya suna kara matsu no waka midori

beach raod -
from the sand emerging
young green

Choo Mu 蝶 夢(died 1795)

World Kigo Database : The Pine in all Seasons


green leaves, aoba 青葉
。。。。 wakaba 若葉

take no ha ni tsurete mugura mo wakaba kana

keeping bamboo shoots
company, weeds
fresh green too

(Tr. David Lanoue)

... ... ...

ara tooto aoba wakaba no hi no hikari

looking with awe --
green leaves, fresh leaves
in the light of the sun

Basho in Nikko

World Kigo Database : Green Leaves, young leaves

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

treading the turf, greensward
aoki fumu 青踏む

green barley, aomugi 青麦
..... barley turns green, mugi aomu 麦青む

paddy-ridges turn green, aze aomu 畦青む
embankments turn green, dote aomu 土手青む

blue dragon plum, seiryuubai 青竜梅 seiryūbai

Kigo for Summer

breeze on green rice paddies ,aota kaze 青田風
The breeze that wafts across the field is called aota kaze (青田風);
the wave of paddy created by the wind is aota nami (青田波);
the time is aota doki (青田時);
and the path that cuts across the field is aota michi (青田道).

itten no itsuwari mo naku aota ari

without even a blot
of falseness--
the green rice paddy field

Yamaguchi Seishi

summer storm, "Green Tempest"
(natsu arashi 夏嵐,ao-arashi 青嵐)
not "strong blue wind" or such an expression with BLUE.

World Kigo Database : Wind in various Kigo

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

green plums, aoume 青梅
In Japan, they are picked green and processed to the famous dried plums, umeboshi, which take their red color from the perilla leaves (shiso) added to the mix.

green perilla, aoshiso 青紫蘇
green beefsteak plant, Perilla frutescens.
It gives food a special taste and prevents fast rotting in summer.

green persimmons, aogaki 青柿

green persimmon babies
rolling down the slope -

Gabi Greve

World Kigo Database : Persimmons

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

CLICK for more photos and original link

a myriad greens, all green leaves, banryoku 万緑
green shade, ryokuin, 緑陰

The expression BANRYOKU comes from a Chinese saying
banryoku soochuu koo itten
in the middle of all this green just one spot of red
The green here helps to put the spotlight on the red flower.

The last part of the saying, koo itten,
refers to just one lady among all men in a group.

. . .

green peaks, aone 青嶺
Blue Mountains might be another translation.

green pampas grass, aosusuki 青芒
..... Miscanthus species, usually M. sinensis
green sedge, aogaya 青萱
..... Cyperus species
green reeds and rushes, aoashi 青蘆(青葦)
..... Phragmites species

green rattan/bamboo blinds, aosudare 青簾 あおすだれ
They have a pleasant smell when hung for the first time.

green frog [hyla species], aogaeru 青蛙


green --
The Tidewater region is an incredibly verdant area, well watered by the numerous creeks and rivers, with ample rain and fertile soil. Every possible shade of green is to be seen in high summer. Summer forests appear as walls of green.

“Maryland is quite tropical in summer (I can attest, as I have lived in jungle places). I actually had a couple friends, visiting from our desert southwest US, complain that the green was too much for them. Personally, I love living inside the emerald!” ~ Denis M. Garrison, US

midday sun
shimmers in the valley
ten shades of green

~ Denis M. Garrison, US
Previously published in Haiku Harvest and Eight Shades of Blue, Lulu Press, 2005.

Chesapeake Bay Saijiki, USA

Kigo for Autumn

green citron (yuzu), aoyu 青柚
World Kigo Database : Citron, Yuzu

green pinecone, aomatsukasa 青松毬(青松笠)

Kigo for Winter

Peach Green Anniversary, tooseiki 桃青忌
Green Peach, a name for Matsuo Basho.
Basho Memorial Day (Basho-Ki)

Things found on the way

Quote from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distinguishing "blue" from "green" in language

The English language makes a distinction between blue and green, but some languages, such as Vietnamese or Tarahumara usually do not use separate words for green and refer to that colour using a word that can also refer to yellow or to blue. In Vietnamese, blue and green are denoted by xanh; blue is specifically described as "xanh like the sky" and green as "xanh like the leaves".

Modern Japanese has words for both green (緑 midori) and blue (青い aoi adj.; 青 ao n.), although the boundaries are not the same as in English. Ancient Japanese did not have this distinction: the word midori only came into use in the Heian period, and at that time (and for a long time thereafter) midori was still considered a shade of ao. Educational materials distinguishing green and blue only came into use after World War II, during the Occupation: thus, even though most Japanese consider them to be green, the word ao is still used to describe certain vegetables, apples and vegetation. Ao is also the name for the color of a traffic light, "green" in English. However, most other objects — a green car, a green sweater, and so forth — will generally be called midori. Japanese people also sometimes use the English word "green" for colors. The language also has several other words meaning specific shades of green and blue.

Welsh has different boundaries than English regarding blue and green. The word glas is usually translated as 'blue'. It can also refer, variously, to the colour of the sea, of grass, or of silver. The word gwyrdd is the standard translation for 'green'. Glas (same spelling) is, comparably, the translation for "green" in Irish, with specific reference to plant hues of green; other shades would be referred to as uaine. In Irish, gorm is the word for "blue" – the first part (gor(m)) pronounced as in the Welsh gwyr(dd).

The modern Chinese language has the blue-green distinction; however, another word which predates the modern vernacular, qīng (青), is also used. It can refer to either blue or green, or even (though much less frequently) to black, as in xuánqīng (玄青). For example, the Flag of the Republic of China is today still referred to as qīng tiān, bái rì, man dì hóng ("Blue Sky, White Sun, Whole Field Red"); whereas qīng cài is the Chinese word for "green vegetable".

In Kurdish the word "şîn" (pronounced sheen), meaning "blue", is used for green things in nature like leaves, grass, and eyes. However, there is another word, "kesk", which is used for other green things, for instance in the Kurdish flag.

Pashto uses the same word 'sheen' as in Kurdish to denote blue as well as green. 'Shinkay', a word derived from 'sheen' means greenry but 'sheen asman' means blue sky. When there is ambiguity, one is prone to ask, "'sheen' as sky?" or "'sheen' as plants?".

© Wikipedia


According to a Wikipedia article, the color green was chosen as the tint in night vision goggles because: "the human eye is most sensitive [to] and able to discern the most shades in green."


Wikipedia : Shades of Green


ao to iu iro no hanashi-ai natsu atsushi

a discussion about
AO, the green-blue -
hot summer day

Gabi Greve, 2005, Green Apples

early summer <>
all these shades
of green

Gabi Greve, May 2007

the summer painter
dabs her brush repeatedly--
all these greens!

Larry Bole, May 2007
Happy Haiku Forum


aoshingo mina de watareba kowakunai

green traffic light -
if we all go together
there is nothing to be afraid

a common Japanese saying in Haiku form


hana no ame take ni kebureba masao nari

rain of the flower
smoked with bamboo
utterly blue

Mizuhara Shūōshi 水原秋桜子 Shuuooshi Shuoshi
University of Virginia Saijiki: Spring

rain on the flowers
with bamboo in the mist -
so very green

Translation by Gabi Greve, May 2006


aoarashi shindoo no sono go wa shirazu

green summer tempest -
whatever happened
to the child prodigy?

Ogushi Akira (Oogushi Akira) 大串章 (1937 - )


Another word for GREEN is :
gunjo 群青 ぐんじょ

Japanese Color Codes for Gunjo :
a green version #44745E
blue versions #7197b7 群青色, #26208A, #4200B7, #64A8EA, #82C9E8 and almost grey #90B0C0.

taki ochite gunjo-sekai todoro keri

The water plunges -
a sea-green world

(Tr. Tsukushi Bansei)

Mizuhara Shuoshi

the rapids fall
and a dark blue world

(Tr. William J. Higginson)

Translating Haiku : Green versus Blue

World Kigo Database : Mizuhara Shuoshi
Mizuhara Shūōshi 水原秋桜子 Shuuooshi Shuoshi

Related words

for heaven and water

***** Rikyu Gray (grey), Traditional Colors of Japan, by Gabi Greve

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





Gillena Cox said...

a picnic
on the greens; we spread
a plaid cloth

Unknown said...

Green を青と表現する日本人の詩情に感心しています。
日本人を代表してThank you very much です。


Anonymous said...

Gabi san , I have big shock to see Japanese color sample refered in
your blog.
How many varieties are there in our color naming? I am truly surprised with rich feeling of our ancestor.
Thank you for your information.


Anonymous said...

Die Neigung des Blau zur Vertiefung

Die Neigung des Blau zur Vertiefung ist so groß, dass es gerade in tieferen Tönen intensiver wird und charakteristischer innerlich wirkt.

Je tiefer das Blau wird, desto mehr ruft es den Menschen in das Unendliche ...
Je heller also, desto klangloser, bis es zur schweigenden Ruhe übergeht - weiß wird.

Musikalisch dargestellt ist helles Blau einer Flöte ähnlich, das dunkle dem Cello, immer tiefer gehend den wunderbaren Klängen der Bassgeige; in tiefer, feierlicher Form ist der Klang des Blau dem der tiefen Orgel vergleichbar.

Wassily Kandinsky


News said...

The Japanese traffic light blues: Stop on red, go on what?
by Peter Backhaus

Road traffic in Japan is a complicated affair. Apart from those narrow, crooked streets that sometimes end without warning, you have to get used to unclear right-of-way rules and the national fetish for backward parking. On top of that they drive on the wrong side of the road (though admittedly views may differ on that).

What can really give you the blues, however, is what they call their green traffic lights. Whereas 赤 (あか, red) and 黄 (き, yellow) basically go by the same name as everywhere else, the Japanese
green light is not called 緑 (みどり), the Japanese word for green, but 青 (あお, blue).

in the Japan Times

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

tanoshisa ya aota ni suzumu mizu no oto

how very pleasant -
in the green fields
the cool sound of water


how very pleasant -
the cool sound of water
in the green fields
Tr. Gabi Greve

Matsuo Basho at Konda Hachiman Shrine

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

hatsuaki ya / umi mo aota no / hitomidori

first things . . .

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

yabusame ni ame no agarishi midori tatsu

for yabusame
even the rain stops -
green starts to come out

Gotoo Hinao 後藤比奈夫 Goto Hinao
yabusame, archery on horseback

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Aoi 青不動 blue / green Fudo

Me-ao 目青不動 blue (green) eyes of Fudo  

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

aooni, ao-oni 青鬼伝説 Blue or Green Oni Demon Legends