Growing up we all agreed the ideology of Red signifies stop, green means go, that appeared to be very simple to understand.Then what happens when you grow in a place where Green also means Blue, if you doubt this then you’ve not been to Japan, there is no way you drive around their cities without running into one of the mythical Japanese blue traffic lights.
Meanwhile, around the Japanese island, you get to see “go” signals that have teal, turquoise, and aqua colors. This may push you into asking questions like “Is this signal broken?”, “Did someone install the wrong bulbs?.”The answer just points straight to the Japanese language.
The idea Japanese blue traffic lights could be traced back many centuries ago, when the Japanese language has words for only four basic colors which are black, white, red and blue.In describing something greenish in color, the word for blue that’s “ao” is being used, the system seems to be working well enough.Towards the end of the first millennium, a new word “Midori” started showing in up in writings as a description of what we all know as green.This little change ever-since then has possed a long lasting effect in the whole of Japan.
In Japan today, green objects are dubiously labeled blue, for example, bamboos that have green color are called aodake (“blue bamboos”).Initially, Japanese traffic lights were green which is the normal green.Despite the fact that the Japanese official traffic documents still refers green traffic lights as ao instead of Midori.The international traffic law states all “go” signals must be green lights.Linguists in Japan opposing their government decided to continue using ao to describe what was clearly known as Midori.In 1973, the Japanese government decided to compromise.They mandated that traffic lights use the bluest shade of green possible-this could technically be referred as green.But should be blue enough to justify word ao.
To clarify the whole situation, Japanese drivers, when taking licensing test, are made to undergo a vision test which includes the ability to distinguish between the color red, yellow, and blue not green.The good news is that ever since the mandate the Japanese blue traffic lights has never been a subject of controversy.