I Want to Learn How to Think Beyond Academic Disciplines

Academic Frontier Lectures (A Semester)
Fiscal Year 2016 "color"



A poet once said “A (a)is black, E(u)is white, I(i)is red, U(yu)is green and O(o)is blue”.

Colour does not exist as a thing.

It is said that the ‘Green flash’ brings happiness but it does not come from something green. Shadows seem blue under good weather but something blue does not exist there. It does not mean that the phenomenon of ‘colour’ is an arbitrary choice. The perception follows physical, mental and cultural processes. As a result, we sometimes see the same thing as different colours and the different senses bring the perception of colour (synesthesia). The colours which we experience, get deep into our life and enhance it in various ways. Colours are closely linked with our feelings (Goethe’s Zur Farbenlehre, which contains his thoughts on colour is an essential reference). Colours become an expression of social status. (For example, Stendhal’s Le Rouge et le Noir in Western literature. The system of kani jūnikai (first system to rank officials into twelve levels in the history of Japan)). Colour becomes a serious principle of social distinction (racial discrimination!). Iro (Colour in Japanese) is the word which is strongly linked with a desire in Japanese culture. It indicates not only something which stirs up people’s desire (shikiyoku (lust) and iroke (sex appeal)) but also becomes an expression of the whole temporal things (shikisokuzekū (All is vanity) in Buddhism). This intensive lectures will approach the phenomenon of ‘colour’ which has a vast extent using the way of several lectures given by the interdisciplinary lecturers.


場所:駒場キャンパス5号館524教室 *左記教室に教室変更しました