So APPARENTLY I can use 縁 instead of 紫 for purple...?

I’ve been told this by someone whom I don’t exactly trust too much and I’m trying to clarify it. They said 縁 can be read ゆかり and means purple. Are they interchangeable? What’s some history behind them? Can’t find anything that says this is true on either Jisho or Wanikani (might be a good time to suggest some other research tool?)

2 Likes seems to confirm this: ゆかり -
ゆかりいろ - 1. violet Archaism
It seems to be archaic.


It does seem to imply that it requires the の色 tagged on there, and I imagine it would probably be both a specific type of purple, and also invite some strange looks if used in conversation.

Makes sense for it to be archaic since colors are named at different times in a language’s history.

Weblio is a good source for quick JP->JP dictionary stuff.

1 なんらかのかかわりあいやつながりのあること。因縁。「縁(えん)も—もない」「文豪—の地」「—の者を頼って上京する」
2 血縁関係のある者。親族。縁者。
3 《「ゆかりじそ」の略》梅干と一緒に漬け込んだ紫蘇(しそ)の葉を乾燥させて粉にしたもの。飯にふりかけたりする。

I thought (in my original post this is edited from) #3 was the source, but from looking around some more I think it’s actually referring to this furikake, which is technically a brand name:


The brand describes the name here: 名前の由来 | ゆかり®三島食品, which has more information about how 縁 and purple.
It sounds like they chose ゆかり because their product is purple and because they wanted to form a connection (縁) with their customers (sure).

The weblio just talking about the furikake suggests this might now be the most common association in the modern world…

It sounds like (and confirmed with some searching of “縁の色 語源”) the purple usage is specifically because of an old (~800s) poem:

紫の ひともとゆえに 武蔵野の 草はみながら

The idea being I guess that the emotional connection conveyed by this purple plant in a famous poem made purple the color of ゆかり (and that in turn made ゆかり the name of a brand of purple furikake)


Just what we needed, another reading for 縁.


Checking the kanjipedia page

縁(えにし) […] 縁(ふち) 縁(へり) 縁(ゆかり) 縁(よすが) […]

Aaah, yes. You love to see it.
Somehow, they do not list 縁(エン) alone, it’s always part of a sentence/expression :thinking:


Well, they do give the definition of ④特に仏教で、物事が生ずる原因。めぐりあわせ。which covers えん.

Oh, I guess you meant they don’t list it as a word that they give its own page to.

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Yes, that’s what I meant. I wonder why that is.

It’s not particularly thorough when it comes to vocabulary. They also don’t have 円 (えん), which popped into my head to check.

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Sure, and it’s not really their goal to be thorough. I do wonder what made them think “yes, ‘縁の切れ目は子で繫ぐ’ is a very important expression we have to cover” instead.
(Plus, pretty much all the other readings of 縁 they could think of)

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