In Europe, the color of Aizome is called “Japan blue.” And in United States the color was named “Hiroshige blue” connected with the color of bright sky and ocean of Hiroshige Ando (the ukiyo-e artist, and also referred to as Utagawa Hiroshige). Now it is the representative color of Japan. It can be said that Ai is the color of Japan, has no time barrier.
Hon Aizome uses 100% natural dyestuff made from plants. Water pepper, the material of Aizome dyestuff is a plant of the family Polygonaceae. Bright sunshine, blessed rain and refreshing…water pepper that grows up in the nature is the treasure.
very mysterious process of dyeing. First, the fermented leaves of water pepper are hardened, then put them into the jar in order to ferment more. When it’s fermented, green liquid comes out from the leaves. Threads/Fabrics are soaked into the green liquid, and the green threads dramatically change its color into bright blue just at the moment the threads touch the air. This dramatic moment is called “aerial oxidation” and it is making the attraction of Aizome more mysterious. The numbers of soaking thread/fabric into the dye liquor determines the lightness and shade of Aizome. You need to soak thread/fabric into the dyestuff for 10 – 15 times to make an indigo blue.
Today, the colour(Ai)still plays a central role – the official logo of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Games.