“Blue” is called “ao(青)” in Japanese. “Ao” had been used to mean the whole spectrum of cold colors, including green color hue range. This spectrum still remains in the idiom “ao-ao” meaning vivid green, such as fresh vegetable. These days, “green” is called “midori(緑)” in Japanese, while a border between “midori (green)” and “ao (blue)” is fuzzy. In contrast, in English, origin of the word, “green． means like unripe fruits and growing sprouts, covering more yellowish color hue range. “ Green” is not onle an adjective but a noun meaning green vegetables, grass, etc., as is “midori” in Japanese. In Japanese context, a noun of “green” is used as a foreign language, as written as “グリーン” to be pronounced as “guriin.” It sounds an urban impression such as trimmed plantings and foliage plants. The glass tube bent in the shape of the Japanese letters, meaning “guriin (green) look of “ao-ao(青々, blue-blue)” is “midori(緑, green).” This Japanese text emphasizes even more greenish green, while this also looks somehow contradictory, as if it would mix green and blue up in English and Japanese, as described above.
Is there a true “green?”
In the glass tube cyanobacteria, also known as “blue-green algae,” are floating. Cyanobacteria contain chlorophyll for photosynthesis, is shared by higher plants. Thus, ancestral cyanobacteria has been thought to be an origin of “green” chloroplasts in plants. Cyanobacteria will grow in the glass tubes, and will dye the letters gradually. (SAITO Hanna)