Japanese Color Harmony Dictionary: Traditional Colors


by Teruko Sakurai

Expert colorist Teruko Sakurai takes you to the end of the rainbow–and beyond–in this inspiring color dictionary!

Over 2,750 traditional Japanese color combinations are presented, organized into 100 different themes associated with the seasons, landscapes and artistic heritage of Japan. Whether it’s a shower of pink cherry blossoms, the flutter of a carp flap or the austere and cool tones of Mt. Fuji, flipping the pages of this color dictionary is like taking a stroll through the sensual delights of Japanese culture in all its dazzling tones, hues and palettes.

Each two-page section in this richly-illustrated book presents a different theme with the following information:

  • An introduction to the color scheme and a description of how it can be used
  • A number-coded nine-color palette board showing the range of shades and hues that complement and comprise the scheme
  • CMYK, RGB and HEX (the color code used in Japan) references for all nine colors
  • 26 examples including two- and three-color combinations with photos and illustrations

This is an indispensable guide for graphic designers, illustrators, decorators, artists and publishing professionals. It will also be enjoyable and inspiring for readers planning their own home design or art projects.

Paperback | 288 pages | Tuttling Publishing | 2021

Teruko Sakurai is CEO of Tokyo Colors, a company focusing on design, color consulting and corporate training. She advises product and advertising corporate clients as well as color science instructors at universities and design schools, in addition to producing her own color teaching manuals. In 2014, she was the first Japanese person to be certified as an instructor in the Swedish National Standard Natural Color System (NCS). She is a member of the Japan Color Society, a color design master with the International Color Design Association and a certified lecturer for the Color Certification Association and Colorist Association of Japan.

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