The Traditional Colors of Japan

A few years ago I found by accident the book The Traditional Colors of Japan by Nobyoshi Hamada. He also wrote the sister book Traditional Japanese Color Palette.

It’s the best book about Japanese colors I know. The book is filled with beautiful photography showing examples of nature, craftsmanship, and art applying the colors.

I took the time and converted all colors in the book into an ASE (Adobe Swatch Exchange) file that is usable in all Graphic software. You can download the file or browse all colors on this page.

Download Color Palette

Book: The Traditional Colors of JapanBook: Traditional Japanese Color Palette
The vivid pink of Dianthus chinesis flowers.
Orchid Pink
The purplish pink of orchids.
Resberry Red
The rich purplish red of raspberries.
Old Rose
A soft, light red; a washed-out vermillion.
Baby Pink
A soft pink.
The dark reddish-purple of ripe mulberries.
Fuchsia Pink
The pink of fuchsia flowers.
The rich red of strawberries.
Rose Pink
The pale vermillion of classic pink roses.
Signal Red
A deep red.
Cherry Pink
A pink with a hint of purple.
Cherry Blossom
The pink of cherry blossoms, the Japanese national flower.
Rose Gray
Gray with a hint of rose red.
Rose Red
The familiar red of roses.
A deep red originally derived from the cochineal insect.
A bright red originally derived from the cochineal insect.
The color of fringed pinks, also known as Dianthus or pink carnations.
Old Rose
A faded rose red.
Chocolate Brown
A deep, rich brown.
Silver Pink
Pink with a hint of silver.
French Rose
A bright crimson.
Russet Brown
A deep reddish brown.
Corinth Pink
A reddish-brown used on ancient Greek pottery from Corinth.
The strong red of geraniums, flowering perennials in the geraniaceae family.
A vivid red, named for the color of the cassocks worn by cardianls of the Roman Catholic Church.
Silver Pink
Pink with a hint of silver.
Dark Cardinal
A dark reddish brown.
A dark red of garnets.
Blood Red
A pure, clear red.
Woodland Brown
The deep brown of a woodland floor.
Pompeian Red
A reddish-brown reminiscent of the houses of Pompeii.
Salmon Pink
The bright pink of salmon.
Amber Red
Red with a hint of orange.
Ash Rose
A pale rose with a hint of ash gray.
Coral Pink
The characteristic pink of coral.
Oxblood Red
A rich reddish brown.
Poppy Red
A strong red with a hint of orange.
Red Lead
A bright reddish-orange, named for the pigment red lead or minium.
Copper Rose
Rose red with a hint of copper.
The deep reddish-brwon of mahogany wood.
Brick Dust
A dull brick red.
A vivid red with a hint of yellow.
Auburn Brown
A red-brown color.
Tomato Red
A color of a ripe tomato.
The reddish brown of chestnuts.
Copper Brown
A rich coppery brown.
Burnt Orange
A deep orange.
Garnet Brown
A reddish brown.
Indian Pink
A pale vermillion.
Arabian Red
A dark red.
The light reddish-brown of cinnamon.
Melo Pink
The orange-pink of canteloupe melon.
Orange Vermillion
A strong orange vermillion.
The pale crimson of flamingo plumage.
Coral Rust
Coral pink with a hint of brown.
Etruscan Orange
The orange with a hint of brown characteristic of Etruscan art.
Burnt Umber
A deep reddish chocolate brown.
The light brown of the bark of the cork tree.
Brick Red
A mellow reddish brown.
A peach-hued skin color.
Etruscan Rose
A soft pinkish brown.
Burnt Sienna
An orange-brown.
Apricot Buff
A dull apricot yellow.
Nut Brown
The brown of ripe walnuts.
Terra Cotta
A rich brownish orange, as in unglazed roof titles.
Salmon Buff
A dull, pale orange.
Golden Brown
A rich golden brown.
Red Fallow
Tan with a hint of red.
The clean brown of unweathered bronze.
Peach Beige
A beige with a touch of pink.
Tobacco Brown
A warm light brown.
Saffron Yellow
The golden yellow of dried saffron stigmas.
Light Apricot
A pale ripe apricot color.
Majolica Orange
The orange found in Majolica ceramics.
Peach Buff
A pale reddish tan.
Ocher Beige
A pale yellow-brown.
A golden brown, seen in some fawn’s coats.
Russet Gold
Gold with a touch of brown.
The golden yellow of amber.
Pale vanilla extract.
Russet Brown
A deep reddish brown.
A light yellow-brown, the color of buffalo leather.
A light olive brown.
The pale brown of sandy soil in fallow fields.
Brown Gold
A gold with a hint of brown.
Raw Sienna
A brownish-yellow.
A dark brown like the pigment derived from cuttlefish ink.
The pale straw color of champagne.
A soft pinkish-orange, the color of peach flesh.
Maple Sugar
The light brown of maple sugar.
Yellow Ocher
A natural yellow-brown pigment.
The very pale brown of unbleached linen or silk.
Old Gold
A dark yellow.
Maple Leaf
A golden brown.
The bright yellow of the marigold, a member of the chrysanthemum family native to Mexico.
The warm yellow of the metal gold.
Yellow Gold
The yellow of the metal gold.
A light yellow-brown, the color of buffalo leather.
York Yellow
The rich yellow of egg yolks.
A pale yellowish gray.
Curry Yellow
The rich yellow of turmeric.
The yellow of kernels of ripe maize (corn).
Sun Gold
The true gold of the sun.
Tawny Olive
Olive green with a hint of brown.
A pale yellowish white.
The delicate yellow of dry straw.
Honey yellow.
Naples Yellow
A muted reddish-yellow pigment containing lead antimonate.
The yellow of sunflower petals.
Golden Yellow
A vivid yellow.
The dull yellow of mustard.
Oriental Gold
A muted gold.
Citron Gray
Gray with a touch of green.
Covert Gray
An olive gray.
Dusty Olive
A dull olive green
A blonde tan.
Oil Yellow
A deep yellow with a hint of green.
A grayish olive.
Seaweed Yellow
A grayish-olive yellow.
Seaweed Brown
A grayish brown.
Chrome Lemon
A natural yellow pigment made of lead chromate.
A bright yellow with a hint of green.
Lemon Yellow
A vivid yellow, the color of lemon peel.
Chartreuse Yellow
A greenish yellow.
Olive Yellow
Yellow with a hint of olive green.
Citron Yellow
A grayish-green yellow.
Light Olive Yellow
Pale yellow with a hint of olive green.
Apple Green
A crisp yellow-green.
Sage Green
The gray-green of sage.
Citron Green
A light grayish yellow green.
Moss Green
A dullish yellow-green.
Elm Green
A grayish olive green.
A light olive brown.
Dark Olive
A dark olive green.
Sea Moss
Grayish olive green.
Bronze Green
A grayish olive.
Silver Sage
A sage green with a hint of silver.
Fresh Green
The bright green of new growth.
The yellow-green of willow leaves.
Mist Green
The delicate grayish green of the backs of willow leaves.
Slate Olive
An olive green with a hint of slate blue.
Spring Green
The characteristic vital green of spring growth.
Apple Green
The clear green of green apples.
Deep Sea Moss
A deep grayed green.
Jade Green
A bluish green.
A yellow-green with a hint of gray.
Light Green
A light true green.
Eggshell Green
The delicate bluish green of robin’s eggs.
A rich leaf green.
Porcelain Green
A vivid yellow-green.
Bottle Green
A dark green often found in glass bottles.
Malachite Green
The rich, true green of malachite.
Opal Green
The milky green of opals.
Antique Green
The dull green of marble.
Almond Green
The deep bluish-green of the backs of almonds leaves.
Forest Green
A dull, deep green.
The bluish-green of the patina that forms on copper.
Ripple Green
A delicate blue-green.
Jewel Green
A deep emerald green.
Lincoln Green
A deep green used in tartan.
Green Duck
Mallard green.
Olive Drab
A dull olive green.
Chinese Green
Overglaze green in Chinese ceramics.
Sea Green
The blue-green of the sea.
The gray-green of celadon porcelains.
Fir Green
The blue-green of fir needles.
Aqua Green
A blue-green color.
Turquoise Blue
The vivid blue green of turquoises.
Blue Conifer
The muted blue-green of pine needles.
Canton Blue
A bright navy blue.
Pale Ultramarine
A pale true blue.
A grayish olive green.
Horizon Blue
The pale sky blue visible on the horizon.
Aqua Gray
A gray-aqua mixture.
Light Saxe Blue
A dull blue-green.
Pale Aqua
A pale sky blue.
Turquoise Blue
The blue-green of turquoises.
Tapestry Blue
A dark blue with a hint of gray.
Marine Blue
The deep indigo blue of Marine Corps uniforms.
Cerulean Blue
A vivid sky blue.
Goblin Blue
A dull blue green.
Electric Blue
A vivid blue with a hint of green.
Saxe Blue
A cobalt blue associated with the region of Germany known as Saxony.
Smoke Blue
The gray-blue of smoke.
Smoke Blue
A dull blue.
Sky Blue
The blue of a clear sky.
Oriental Blue
A deep grayed blue.
Azure Blue
The blue of a perfectly clear sky.
Slate Blue
The gray-blue of slate.
Sapphire Blue
The blue of sapphires.
Forget Me Not Blue
A clear, medium blue.
The color of the blue pigment made from powdered lapis lazuli.
Cobalt Blue
A sky blue named for a pigment of cobalt oxide and alumina.
Midnight Blue
Blue black.
Navy Blue
A deep blue of British navy uniforms.
A dark blue produced by dyeing with indigo.
Lapis Lazuli
The soft, slightly purplish blue associated with the semi-precious stone.
Royal Blue
A rich pruplish blue associated with the British royal family.
Salvia Blue
The purplish blue of salvia flowers.
Lavender Gray
Gray with a hint of pale purple.
Steel Gray
A gray with the dark bluish hue of steel.
Prussian Blue
A deep blue produced with ferric ferrocynide.
Gentian Blue
The soft, purplish blue of gentian flowers.
Victoria Violet
A deep purple
The purple of wisteria blossoms.
A dull bluish-purple.
A pink-purple, midway between violet and magenta.
The color of the first aniline die, a pale grayed pink-lilac.
Bell Flower
A bluish-violet.
A light pinkish-purple.
A deep gray with a hint of purple.
Pale Lilac
The pale purple of lilacs.
The pale purple of crocus flowers.
Royal Purple
A reddish purple.
The deep violet of pansy petals.
Deep Royal Purple
A deep reddish purple.
The color of violet blossoms; the name Newton gave to the purple end of the visible spectrum.
A mixture of red and blue, with many hies, including lavender and lilca; the unmodified term usually refers to a reddish purple.
The soft reddish-purple of Japanese irises.
A deep gray with a touch of purple.
A pale purple.
Dusky Purple
A dark, blackish purple.
A brownish purple.
Plum Purple
The grayed purple of plums.
Lilac Hazy
A dull pale purple.
A vivid reddish purple.
Amethyst Mauve
A grayed amethyst.
Peony Purple
A vivid reddish-purple.
Amaranth Purple
A deep reddish-purple.
A deep grayed purple.
Azalea Pink
The pinkish purple of azalea blossoms.
Indian Purple
A purple with a hint of brown.
Snow White
Pure white.
White with a hint of yellow.
Pearl Gray
A pale, warm gray.
Silver Gray
A silvery gray.
Lead Gray
A medium gray.
Ash Gray
A medium gray.
Mouse Gray
Medium gray.
Celadon Gray
A gray with a hint of celadon.
Olive Gray
Gray with a hint of olive green.
Steel Gray
A greenish-gray.
Dove Gray
A dark gray.
Black Berry
The dark purple of blackberries.
Dark Slate
A dark gray with a hint of blue.
African Brown
Blackish brown.
Charcoal Gray
The blackish gray of charcoal.
Charcoal Gray
The grey-black of charcoal.
Lamp Black
True black; the darkest color.
Ivory Black
Lacquer black.