First of all, please note that the colors you see on your computer screen are highly dependent on your particular system. Different systems often display different colors. The color files used here are adjusted for my system.
8.5.1. Basic color names
All Japanese color names are nouns, but the six basic color names shown below have corresponding adjectives. The Japanese basic colors are a system based on color warmth/coolness and lightness/darkness. The adjective of a basic color is a combination of the color noun and the adjective suffix い "i". In this chart, the upper words are nouns and the lower words are adjectives.
It is interesting that brown seems more important than green in Japanese. Since green is not a basic color, the word あお is often used for it in old compound words, such as あおやさい "aoyasai" (green vegetables).
Remember Japanese adjectives contain tense. あか means the color red, while あかい means something is red. Its past form is あかかった "akakatta" (something was red).
8.5.2. Important color names
Colors other than the basic colors only have nouns. Use a copula to make a color noun predicator. Most color names have the suffix いる "iro", which means color. You can add it after a color name if it is not there.
8.5.3. Additional color names
Color Hiragana Description みどり
The word はい "hai" means ash. The imported word グレー "gurê",
which came from gray, is also common.
The word もも "momo" means peach. The imported word ビンク "pinku",
which came from pink, is common too.
It is the name of a kind of orange, but it is not well known. The common name for Japanese
oranges is みかん "mikan".
Western oranges are called オレンジ "orenji", and it is also used for the color orange.
The word みず "mizu" means water.
Color names shown here are not so common, but they should be understood by any native Japanese speaker. Japanese has hundreds of color names, but to my regret many of them are being lost, as Japanese traditions are being lost.
Color Hiragana Description さくらいろ
Pale pink あかねいろ
The word あかね "akane" is a plant whose root is used to dye cloth deep red.
The word やまぶき "yamabuki" means a kind of yellow flower.
The word (うぐいす "uguisu" refers to the Japanese bush warbler, a kind of bird.
Yellow green ふかみどり
The prefix ふか comes from the adjective ふかい "hukai", which means deep.
The word あい "ai" means Japanese indigo.
Dark purplish blue ふじいろ
Yellow ochre みずいろ
- colors (was Re: adjective help!)
- Re: colors
- Re: aoi
- Iro Mihon no Yakata (in Japanese)
- Nippon no Dentô-shoku (in Japanese)