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As many individualities as there are colors: Men see 7 colors while women see 29 colors in a rainbow!

The ability to distinguish among colors, it seems, varies completely from person to person.

The “color gamut,” or range of colors visible to the human eye, differs for men and women. Women can distinguish a wider range of colors. A rainbow that appears to have only 7 colors to men will appear to have 29 colors to women.

This reason for this difference lies largely in human history and is driven by differences in the brain’s information processing.

Males have an excellent kinetic vision, a remnant of a past where they had to hunt highly mobile prey. Men have more neurons that process instantaneous movement, but they are not as good at distinguishing among colors.

On the other hand, women excel at distinguishing colors, a remnant of an age where they protected their children and homes and foraged for fruits, nuts, and other edibles. Sensitivity to colors allowed women to judge the safety of potential food items, check children’s physical condition from their facial complexions or excrement color, and so on.

Your ability to distinguish colors also depends on where you live. Eskimos live in surroundings that are full of snow and ice. Where Japanese people see only white, it seems Eskimos can distinguish dozens of colors of snow and ice.

Located in the east of Eurasia, the Japanese archipelago arcs from southwest to northeast for 3000 kilometers. The archipelago is blessed with an abundance of nature rarely found elsewhere on the planet. This abundance of nature also means an abundance of colors.

With regions ranging from subtropical in the south to subarctic in the north, sharp climate differences between the side facing the Pacific Ocean and the side facing the Sea of Japan, spine-like mountain ranges and great wrinkles of earth surrounded by sea, a rich palette of plant life fed by a blend of rain and sun unique to the East Asian Monsoon zone, a full four seasons, and much more, the diversity that the archipelago offers is truly incredible.

Also, from their long history as agricultural peoples, the Japanese are skilled at looking at landscapes and other outdoor scenes. One theory suggests that the Japanese can distinguish 440 colors in flowers and plants. Japanese interior design and clothing often feature muted colors. However, to Japanese eyes, these must appear to be richly multi-colored. The subtleties of Japanese dyed items can be said to be a product of the Japanese people’s unique color sense.

Whether you can distinguish many colors or just a few, perhaps the best thing to do is enjoy colors in a way that suits your abilities.

The above can teach us the importance of recognizing diversity. Whether you see in monochrome or in 440 colors, this just means that you have a different ability.

People are interesting because they are different. Imagine how boring it would be if we were all the same!