« Ocean freighter repo man | Main | Scarab @ Kimo's »

Yellow

My last three Project 365 photos have been themed around "yellow". The first two inadvertently, and the last intentionally.

Round Lamp, Yellow Wall:

Round Lamp, Yellow Wall

This is not a yellow truck:

This is not a yellow truck.

This is a Yellow truck.

Why am I yellow?

Why am I yellow?

I figured I'd continue with the yellow theme of my last two photos.

So I can understand where the terms "black" and "white" come from. One's darker, one lighter. I can even understand "brown". "Red", a little less so. But I've never understood "yellow".

Okay, so this notepad isn't the world's greatest example of yellow, but still, compared to my arm, one is clearly yellow, and one is clearly not. Even compared to other people, how am I more "yellow"? If I'm in between "black" and "white", why not "gray"? :P For that matter, I'm clearly more "orange" than "yellow".

In all seriousness, though, I actually really am quite curious about the origins of using "yellow" to refer to East Asians. I wonder if it had anything to do with the "cowardice" definition? That is, I wonder if "yellow" was originally meant as a derogatory term. Did it originate with the term "Yellow Peril", or did it predate that?

Comments (2)

From what I remember, the Chinese describe themselves as having yellow skin. There's a song that was (still may be) popular in Taiwan that is basically about Chinese ethnic pride. It refers to the Chinese as people with black hair, black eyes, and yellow skin. Shortly after I immigrated to the US, I remember thinking it was what a coincidence that the Americans described the Chinese as being yellow.

Interesting question, I've been often thinking about it. How scary it would be if I were REALLY white? I think it's not offensive if we say "This man has a yellowish skin." Offense if we simply say "He's yellow." This whole skin colour issue has no sense. I've seen "white" people on the beach so sunbathed that their skin was practically black. And when I was sunburnt, I was red. From a point of view, it's funny.

Post a comment

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 9, 2007.

The previous post in this blog was Ocean freighter repo man.

The next post in this blog is Scarab @ Kimo's.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.3