- Direct Meaning demonstrates the plain use of the color in a passage.
- Opposite Meaning accounts for the color's use when it contradicts the Direct Meaning.
- Expanded Meaning derives a symbolic meaning from the color's use throughout Scripture.
- Associated Symbols define symbolic meanings of objects in the same verse as the color.
Color symbolism can vary dramatically between cultures. Research has also shown that most colors have more positive associations with them then negative. So, although some colors do have negative connotations (such as Black for a funeral or for evil), these negative elements are usually triggered by specific circumstances. Peoples age also has an effect on how colors are perceived. For example, children tend to like bright, happy colors. I've included some of the meanings that each color can represent.
Black is the color of the night, and of "evil." Black can also be a color of elegance or class (such as a black-tie only event, and black evening gowns.) Black can also represent ideas such as power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, unhappiness, depth, style, sadness, remorse, anger, and mourning. Black can also represent a lack of color, the primordial void, emptiness. It can also mean sorrow or mourning, in the Christian tradition of wearing black to funerals.
According to Henry Dreyfus, Black, sumi, is the color of mystery and solemnity; the color of the night. Black expresses the depths of the unknown, and encourages the imagination of a different world from that of daylight realities. Used by itself, black can represent bad luck or misfortune.
Black and white stands for mourning and cheerless occasions. For example, traditional garb for a funeral is black and white. Black for the loss, and white for their passing onto the heavens.
Blue is the color of the Virgin Mary, and is associated with girls who have similar pure qualities. In addition, it is the color of water and the sea, with all the symbolic references already discussed for that element - that is, blue usually indicates femininity, life, purity, etc., just as water does.
Blue can also symbolize peace, calm, stability, security, loyalty, sky, water, cold, technology, and depression.
According to Henry Dreyfus, indigo blue, ai, mirrors the color of the vast ocean surrounding the Japanese islands. This shade of blue is very commonly seen in Japanese art and clothing.
Brown represents the ideas of earth, hearth, home, the outdoors, comfort, endurance, simplicity, and comfort.
According to Henry Dreyfus, gold, kin, can evoke the sensation of looking upon waving fields of ripened rice stalks. Gold is also associated with royalty. It represents the color of the heavens, and is used to decorate statues of the Buddha and religious temples.
Green can represent nature, the environment, good luck, youth, vigor, jealousy, envy, and misfortune.
According to Henry Dreyfus, green, midori is regarded as the color of eternal life, as seen in evergreens which never change their color from season to season. In the word midori, both trees and vegetation are implied. One characteristic of Japanese culture can be found in the fusion of life and nature.
Orange can represent energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, flamboyant, and demanding of attention.
The color pink usually serves two purposes. It can be used to show childish innocence, or a characters child-like personality. For example, Mami (the girl at the top of the page with the pink hair), very much wants to remain a child. She gets pleasure out of very simple, and 'childish' things. So, her hair is pink. Even so, Miho-chan also would like to grow up and become an adult woman… but she's also afraid of losing her childhood innocence. It can also be used to show a more flirtatious personality. Pink is normally a color associated with girls and femininity.
Pink is considered a color of good health and life - we speak of people being "in the pink" or the "freshness" of a newborn babe.
Lastly, pink is associated with sexuality, and purity. That is, a girl who is a virgin in heart and body. Pink is symbolic of pure love, for example. It is also the color used for sexual advertisements and such, to indicate the purity of the girls.
Purple can represent royalty, spirituality, nobility, ceremony, mysterious, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, and mourning.
Red can symbolize many things; from blood, to love, to infatuation. Basically red symbolizes strong emotions, or things of strong emotions rather than intellectual ideas. For example, red can symbolize excitement, energy, speed, strength, danger, passion, and aggression.
According to Henry Dreyfus, it is popularly felt that red, the color of blood and fire, represents life and vitality. Red also signifies the color of the sun: a symbol of energy, radiating its vitalizing life-force into human beings. Red is also looked upon as a sensual color, and can be associated with man's most profound urges and impulses. Ironically, red cats symbolize bad luck.
According to Henry Dreyfus, the word for red and white, Kohaku, is pronounced as one word in Japanese. Ko means red, while haku translates as white. Their use together immediately signifies happiness and celebration to the Japanese viewer. The combination of red and white in the decorative ornaments used on wedding or engagement presents -noshi or kaishi- has a compelling quality that suggests man's urge to create a bond between his own life and that of the gods. Red and white are also the colors of the uniforms that shrine maidens wear (denoting these colors divine nature.)
Red and white are the colors of the Japanese flag; the red signifies the sun.
Silver/Grey symbolizes security, reliability, intelligence, staid, modesty, maturity, conservative, old age, sadness, and boring.
White is a sacred and pure color. It's the color of angles and gods, as the color reflects that which is sacred and pure. It is also the color of doctors, nurses, and others in the health profession, as well as cleanliness. In fact, the Japanese refer to nurses as "Angels in White".
White can also represent reverence, purity, simplicity, peach, humility, youth, winter, snow, good, cold, clinical, and sterile.
Yellow can symbolize joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, gold, dishonesty, cowardice, deceit, illness, and hazard.