The History and story of JAPAN BLUE

The History and story of JAPAN BLUE


 Have you ever heard of JAPAN BLUE? In December 2022, we all saw the JAPAN BLUE glory, which won against Spain and Germany at a football game. Yes, indigo blue, the Japanese national uniform color is known as JAPAN BLUE.

In its long history, indigo blue called JAPAN BLUE played an important role. 

 For example, in the Nara era (710-794) indigo blue was written in Waka (Japanese traditional poem), and in the Heian era (794-1185) indigo blue was thought as a key to success to win a war for Samurai because the word of “Kachi” which means the deep indigo blue color is the same pronunciation as a win in Japanese.

Yes, the history of JAPAN BLUE dates back to 1500 years ago when people from Zui (Old Chinese empire) told Japanese people how to raise indigo botanicals and how to use them. 

However indigo blue became the symbol of Japan when normal people enjoyed indigo-dyed clothes in the Edo era (1603-1868). This is because cotton clothes that suit indigo dyeing spread in Japan and every single city around Japan had a Konya (indigo shop in Japanese)  which made indigo dyes and got clothes such as Kimono or Hanten in indigo color.

So, foreign people visited Japan in this period called indigo blue JAPAN BLUE and thought of it as a symbol of Japan.

The story of indigo

When it comes to indigo culture, the important thing is that many countries or ethnicities have traditional indigo-dyeing cultures. Indigo botanicals that express indigo color once had a variety and grew worldwide. 

That is why India and China have a traditional indigo dyeing culture as Japan do so. Moreover, though Europe cherish an indigo dyeing culture since the ancient age (European used woad, a kind of indigo botanical), the tradition died when chemical dyeing expanded after inventing artificial indigo or other types of dyes.

Baeyer, a German scientist, invented artificial indigo from coals by chemical synthesis. Therefore, humans could easily get indigo-dyeing clothes, but a lot of indigo farmers lost their jobs.

Then, how Baeyer invented artificial indigo? This question has much to do with the mechanism of indigo dyeing, which makes us wonder why green indigo leaves transform into an indigo color like navy or blue.

We explain the indigo dyeing mechanism on this page, if you are interested in it, please check it out.


Where can you see JAPAN BLUE?

- Coming soon

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