The Opposite of White is… Red?

That’s right, you heard me. Up and down, left and right, off and on, white and red, top and bottom, ca… wait, let’s go back a little bit there. White and red? Yes. That:s absolutely right. In the cosmic order of things, the way it works in the land of the rising sun is that the galactic enemy of the color white is not its evil brother black, oh no.. that’d ridiculous. Nope! Until the end of time, it will forever be the battle between white and red.

I guess now’s a good time to explain myself and what I’m rambling on about. Well, I’ve been wondering about this for quite a few years, but I guess it all boils down to the national flag.

Nope, wrong one!

No, not this one…

Well, okay… yes and no. This is technically the flag of the Empire of Japan (though still in use by the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force), you know.. the one we kinda like to pretend didn’t happen. But it still gets my point across all the same. I don’t think I need to tell you what this flag represents, but it’s essentially the sun (get it?) and the rays coming out from it. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is: “But Jason! We all know the sun is yellow, you silly person. I’ve colored many suns in my life.

And you know, you’d be right. Kinda. It’s actually a pretty fascinating subject, but there are a lot of articles and sites like this one in Japanese (and probably other languages) showing what kids think about the colors of the world around them. You see, while in America we draw the sun as yellow and mountains as brown, the standards would be red and green (or even purple!) respectively in Japan. Growing up in the Arizona desert, brown mountains simply make sense to me.

And this is where it starts.

Where it all begins…

So now that we got that out of the way, where does this red and white battle-to-the-death come in? Well, it all boils down to this hat right here. From kindergarten on throughout elementary school, Japanese school children take part in the annual “sports festival,” where the children are broken up into teams and play against each other.

For the sake of simplicity, you’re basically either on the red team, or the white team. These hats have come about and are common with school children for these games. Not sure what team you’re going on? No sense in buying the wrong hat.. ’cause they’re reversible! Quick last might change ’cause someone was sick? BAM! You’re on the red team now.

When things get more complicated, eventually yellow and other color teams enter the picture, but when you have any sort of simple “Team A, Team B” thing going on here, you’re often gonna see this pairing of red and white.

Not really too important, I know, but something I’ve always found fascinating.

Oh.. and yeah, I’m doing just fine! Hot and humid here in Japan, but otherwise, things are going good for me..!

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