Turmeric: Ukiyo-e colorant

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Bundle Tied with Straw by Kitao Shigemasa

Turmeric 鬱金(ukon): A yellow dye obtained from the root of the Curcuma domestica (or C. longa) plant native to India and Southeast Asia. Turmeric is thought to have made its way to Japan through Okinawa by way of China from Thailand. The primary color component in turmeric is curcumin.Turmeric produces a bright deep yellow that has a high tinting strength.

Turmeric and orpiment have been the most commonly detected yellows as a single colorant or as a mixture of the two. In addition to mixtures with orpiment, turmeric was frequently overprinted or mixed with dayflower and safflower to create green and orange.

For more information see: Turmeric, Turmeric (Curcuma longa) LC

Examples of Turmeric in Ukiyo-e Prints

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Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

Indigo FORS.JPG
Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

Indigo FORS.JPG
Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

Indigo FORS.JPG
Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

Indigo FORS.JPG
Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Analysis

Excitation Emission Matrix (EEM) spectroscopy can easily identify turmeric due to its high fluorescence and clear, consistent pattern. Another yellow colorant thought to have been traditionally used, Japanese yellow wood or kihada also fluoresces very brightly but they give very distinctive EEM patterns, making it easy to differentiate between the two. Yellow wood has not been detected so far.

Other Images of Turmeric

List of Prints

Below is a list of prints where turmeric was detected.

Pages in category "Turmeric: Ukiyo-e colorant"

The following 57 pages are in this category, out of 57 total.

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