Tenugui Towel Trivia : Blue in Japan – KAMAWANU - Japanese Tenugui Towel


Tenugui Towel Trivia : Blue in Japan

Blue tenugui towels are cool to the eyes.
Kamawanu has been dyeing various patterns in blue.

Indigo, navy blue, lapis lazuli, sky blue, and turquoise...
There are many variations of "blue" in traditional Japanese colors.

Let's take a look at the background of the many blues that have been created.

■indigo dye

Indigo is said to be the oldest dye known to mankind and was introduced to Japan about 1,500 years ago.

During the Kamakura period (1185-1333), samurai warriors are said to have worn indigo under their armor.

Indigo is said to have sterilizing and hemostatic effects, and the darkest indigo color (navy blue) was called "Kachi-iro," or "winning color," and was favored as a good-luck color.

It became most popular during the Edo period (1603-1867). Everything from common people's kimonos to shop curtains and streamers were dyed with indigo.

■ban on luxury

In the late Edo period (1603-1867), the shogunate issued the Shashi-Kinshirei, or "law banning extravagance," forbidding the wearing of extravagant kimonos regardless of one's status. The materials used were linen and cotton, and the use of gaudy dyed colors was prohibited and was limited to brown, gray, and indigo.

Despite strict regulations, we want to wear something different from others. Therefore, Edo craftsmen created subtly different color tones.

Incidentally, the "Edo komon pattern" originated from the restrictions on gaudy patterns at this time. We will talk about komon another time.

The color "Indigo color" was produced in a variety of colors, from white with a slightly bluish tinge to indigo that was almost black. It was so ingrained in Japanese life that it was named "Japan blue" by Atkinson, a British chemist who came to Japan in the early Meiji period.


In the Meiji period (1868-1912), indigo and chemical dyes with good color retention began to be used.
With the improvement of technology, it has become possible to achieve various "blue" colors other than natural colors such as indigo dye. Even today, "blue" is an important and indispensable color in our daily lives.

The chic blue color is the standard color for tenugui towel and is recommended for your first one.
It blends well with any scene throughout the year.

Why not find your favorite "blue"?