More on the data

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On the Data

The results presented in this database are based on the three analytical methods, XRF, FORS, and EEM. At this time, other analytical or photographic methods have not been used. Therefore, the results are not all emcompassing and/or definitive. Faded colors can also present a challenge and at times all the colors cannot be fully detected. Although visual observation may give a clue to the colors present, only the results from the analysis are given. For example, carbon black or sumi, cannot be detected via the three methods and was not actively pursued during this research. Therefore carbon black used as a color, usually in the form of gray or blue gray is not identified in this database.

Japanese terms for color and materials

Throughout history, many of the colors and materials have had multiple names and still may have multiple names associated with them. For this database, we have tried to use the most commonly used name today for the raw material used to produce the color. For example, orpiment is also commonly called yuo (雄黄) which is actually the Chinese word for realgar. The Chinese term for opriment, 雌黄 (shio in Japanese) has also been used to describe orpiment but also gamboge.

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