"Japan Blue" is the color of indigo dyeing, ai-iro in Japanese. In the late 17th century, indigo dyeing was at the peak in Japan and a lot of Japanese people wore indigo dyeing kimono.
Indigo dyeing is not unique to Japan. It is probably the most widely used dyestuff of all time. Denim jeans are one of the good examples.
What is the charm of indigo dyeing?
1. It looks beautiful and enduring.
2. It works as antibacterial agent as well as deodorant. They say in the past, new-born babies were wrapped in indigo clothes for this reason. Also samurai warriors wore indigo underwear when dressed in armor.
3. Indigo dyeing protects from insects and snakes. So it was good for working outside.
4. The more the texture is washed, the more the blue color deepens. So it keeps really beautiful after long years.
I hope to buy a nice indigo dyeing dress in the future. I only have a handkerchief.