The Japanese language is rich in words and expressions influenced by nature, history and culture. This episode looks at words related to the color red. Red is deeply embedded in Japanese culture. Not only are there said to be over 100 different names for red in the Japanese language, but the color is also used to describe nonvisual concepts. From his home in Kyoto Prefecture, poet and literary translator Peter MacMillan guides us through these words and the culture behind them.
Akaneiro: Red color taken from the akane plant
Kurenai: Red color taken from the benibana plant
Koyo ("red leaf") refers to both the phenomenon whereby leaves change color in autumn, and to the colorful leaves themselves
Shuiro (vermillion) works as a preservative and is often used at shrines and temples