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Meaning of yellow? 2005/1/25 05:08
What does the color yellow symbolize in Japanese culture?

by Brian  

Courage 2005/1/25 18:22
In Japan during the War of Dynasty in 1357, each warrior wore a yellow chrysanthemum as a pledge of courage.
by Kappa rate this post as useful

Interesting 2005/1/27 21:33
I find that fascinating, that in Japan the color yellow is one of courage. Here in America, it is the exact opposite. Yellow is considered the color of cowardice; indeed, to "show a yellow streak up the back" or to be "yellow bellied" or even just to be "yellow" is to be insultingly termed a coward. Indeed, this seems to be true in most western cultures.

I find it terribly interesting how colors have different, even opposite, meanings across cultures. I wonder how differently other colors are perceived, and what other perceptions of yellow exist in cultures other than Japanese and American?
by Seanolan rate this post as useful

uso dane. 2005/1/28 01:59
Seanolan, we all know color yellow doesn't mean anything in America but color yellow.
by cc rate this post as useful

What are you talking about? 2005/1/28 03:27

I quote from the above website:


3. Slang. Cowardly.

... 2: easily frightened [syn: chicken, chickenhearted, lily-livered, white-livered, yellow-bellied] ... 5: cowardly or treacherous; "the little yellow stain of treason"-M.W.Straight; "too yellow to stand and fight"

And yet, in Japan, it means courage. Of course, in America, a yellow ribbon is used to show support for the armed forces or express hope that they will return (aka: "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree", a song dating back to WW2 and before, I believe).

Anyone else have any other meanings for this, in Japan or elsewhere? I am very interested in this.
by Seanolan rate this post as useful

you and Brian 2005/1/28 03:53
Both of you don't have anything better to do?
Do you really believe website info you're referring to is a legitimacy?
Where do you in America do you live?
by cc rate this post as useful

what does that have to do... 2005/1/28 04:10
...with anything?

1) I am living in Charlotte, NC. I have lived in the US all my life, and plan to travel to Japan to teach English and to experience the culture. Maybe you could use my services as a teacher of English, as "is a legitimacy" shows that it is either not your native tongue, or you fail to pay attention in your English classes if it is your native tongue.

2) The quoted website is a site which hosts many different English dictionaries, so yes, I do consider it "a legitimacy" or at least, a legitimate referrence source. As a teacher in this country, I pretend to a bit of knowledge as to legitimate sources of information.

3) Why the bloody heck are you being so hostile? What has set you off so badly?
by Seanolan rate this post as useful

Yellow 2005/1/28 05:14
Yellow is a sacred color in Buddhism, and a color of monks' clothes. Buddhism monks in Japand don't wear yellow clothes, but still it's an important color in Busshism. I heard that Japane's Emperor's son wore dark yellow cloth for his wedding.
by Hana rate this post as useful

Yellow-bellied 2005/1/29 13:37
For one thing, obviously nobody has anyhting better to do. ^^ except write to our respective penpals, of course. Yelow-bellied has long been slang for coward in the US, so that IS a legit claim. (see many fiction works, especially classics) i too am curious of any other foreign uses of colors for emotion.
by Ori rate this post as useful

. 2005/1/29 21:28
Most Japanese people simply imagine "caution" by yellow as in traffic signals and construction sites.
by meringue4 rate this post as useful

to digress a bit ... 2005/2/1 08:21
A little off the subject but in the language of flowers, yellow roses = FRIENDSHIP.

by nanshi rate this post as useful

... 2005/2/1 10:51
I heard that yellow stands for friendship or jealousy (Canada)
by setsuna rate this post as useful

yellow 2005/4/18 00:12
in japan it means courage. while in india it is seen as spring and new beginnings. is it possible that the west took a distorted view of this happy colour due to a collective block in the solar plexus resulting in feelings of cowardice, shame etc.
by neno rate this post as useful

flowers? 2006/10/22 15:15
yes, in canada yellow flowers represent friendship. but i'm curious how a yellow flower would be represented by a japanese person? is it common to give yellow flowers? i guess white and red are most common, right?

what do people think?
by max rate this post as useful

. 2006/10/23 11:15
To average Japanese people, yellow does not have significant meaning. It is just colour yellow.
Same about yellow flowers, except that some books on "hana kotoba" (meaning of flowers) say yellow rose mean friendship. But it is not widely/commonly known.
by . rate this post as useful

Yellow 2007/2/21 17:02
Yellow colour in Hungary (Eastern Europe) symbolizes "envy".

Also we've been to Thailand this past Xmas brake and the it's the colour of the Thai king's flag.

by JH rate this post as useful

yellow 2007/2/21 20:41
In southern Europe yellow means money (as gold), although I do agree that most people wouldn't know it.
There are only few colours that have a strong meaning here and that everyone knows.
It amazes me too how different colors and different things (flowers in this case) means one thing somewhere and the opposite somewhere else.
Nobody would ever wear a chrysanthemum here, as they are the flowers of death.
by V. rate this post as useful

cuckold 2007/2/21 20:56
In France, there's an expression : "jaune cocu", meaning "yellow as a cuckold man" (man whose wife committed adultery)...
Don't know the actual origin...
by frenchy rate this post as useful

(following) 2007/2/21 20:59
... and it's the first expression many people think of, as soon as you're talking about yellow !...
by frenchy rate this post as useful

yellow? 2007/2/21 22:29
Yellow is often used as a color for hatred, in some western countries. Giving someone yellow roses means you don't like them.
by wolley rate this post as useful

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