japanese pedestrians

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渋谷スクランブル交差点 ∣ Shibuya・Tokyo by Iyhon Chiu

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steelstrike  asked:

why is the word for an orange tabby cat 茶トラ? I know tora is tiger and refers to the stripes and that 茶色 is brown so this word really confuses me. Do you know the context/history behind it?

I thought 茶トラ was just for normal tabby cats (i.e. Brown stripes cats) which makes sense. Upon googling it I found this:

So I was wrong.

This might have something to do with colours being perceived differently here. When I had Joan-from-MadMen red hair the students would all call it brown when we did colour lessons. Perhaps because red hair is not naturally occurring here it’s just seen as another shade of brown.

This maybe doesn’t make sense to us, but then the whole Japanese idea of many things we call green being called blue also doesn’t make sense to many.
Alternatively it might have something to do with the colour of tea when held up to the light, I mean, it can be kind of a rusty, orangey colour depending on the kind of tea. 


I think the key here is to remember that what makes sense to a native English speaker is based on an inherent logic that derivative from things that are actually arbitrary being taken as an immovable fact about the universe (like this colour being green:

It is green. Except when it isn’t. And it isn’t to some Japanese people.

When the pedestrian lights change here they say ‘信号はがになりました。’

If you google 茶色 the following result pop up. Look at the bottom right one, I think that is pretty close to the true colour of a ginger tabby cat.

It’s quite liberating when you realise that even things that everyone in your own culture takes as being objectively true actually are all a matter of perception and are only ever subjectively true. I felt like there were more possibilities in the world when I realised this.

In conclusion ginger tabbies are the best.

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RUN by ajpscs
Via Flickr:
Shibuya Scramble Crossing © ajpscs

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東京・銀座 | Ginza・Tokyo by Iyhon Chiu

May 16, 2015

  1. Gemini
     English-Japanese dictionary
     White

  2. Aquarius
     Pedestrian crossing
     Red

  3. Leo
     Mask
     Light blue

  4. Aries
     Sneakers
     Purple

  5. Pisces
     A person born under the Taurus star sign
     Green

  6. Sagittarius
     Television
     Yellow

  7. Virgo
     Tarot cards
     Black

  8. Capricorn
     Milk
     Pink

  9. Cancer
     Body soap
     White

  10. Taurus
     Road detour
     Pink

  11. Libra
     Zarusoba
     Orange

  12. Scorpio
     Poetry anthology
     Gold