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On the Ancient Process of Dyeing with a Purple Color

By 六郎 上村


Dyeing with a purple color has been known from olden times in countries, both Oriental and Occidental. In China and Japan, however, the process of dyeing in this connection was quite different from the ancient Greek method which made use of what was called "Tyrian purple," i.e. a kind of coloring matter obtained from some species of shells. In other words, roots of a species of plant called "Murasaki" -- Lithospermum Crythrorhizon, Sieb et Zucc. -- were employed by Orientals with 1ye as the color-fixing mordant. The author is opposed to the theory put forward by J. Wilfrid Jackson that this Oriental purple dye-color can also be considered to be Tyrian purple. According to the different processes of dyeing employed, various shades of purple from reddish to bluish color could be presented. Inancient times, purple was held to be a sacred color in China and Japan as in the West. The dyeing procedure in ancient China which put "Murasaki" to pratical use as a purple coloring matter is mentioned in books as far back as before the Hang Dynasty

Publisher: 大阪學藝大學
Year: 1956
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