Intentional or not, many still see color scheme as a sign of hope and encouragement.

On Sunday night, the Ukrainian Embassy in Tokyo tweeted a photo of the Tokyo Skytree with the message “The Skytree has become the colors of Ukraine!” along with the hashtags #StandForUkraine and #StandWithUkraineNOW.

▼ Though tweeted on Sunday, the photo shows the Skytree as it appeared on the previous night, February 26.

The extra layer at the bottom means it’s not an exact match, but it does closely resemble the blue-and-yellow color scheme of the Ukrainian flag, and the tweet quickly earned close to 100,000 likes.

With fighting in the Russian invasion of Ukraine beginning on Thursday,  some took this as a sign of solidarity from the Skytree, which periodically changes the color of its illumination for special events. However, it turns out that the lighting was an unintended coincidence.

As shown in the press release photos directly above and at the top of this article from Tobu Group (the Skytree’s owner), the Skytree has three different standard color patterns. The one on the left is called “Iki” (meaning “chic”), and its colors are meant to be evocative of spray forming on the waters of the Sumidagawa River (the officially stated colors are blue and white), Tokyo’s major transportation vein during the Edo period.

Iki, along with Miyabi and Nobori (the names of the other two color patterns), entered into rotation for the Skytree in February of 2020, in anticipation of the influx of overseas visitors Japan was expecting for the Tokyo Olympics. Since then, they’ve been on a steady three-day rotation, barring any special illumination patterns, and Saturday just happened to be when Iki’s turn came up again.

“Today’s lighting is Iki,” tweeted the Skytree’s official account on Saturday morning. Sunday’s pattern was Miyabi, Monday’s was Nobori, and a special sakura color pattern runs from March 1 to 9.

The Skytree’s color daily patterns are set a month in advance and posted on its official website. A Skytree public relations representative also confirmed to Huffington Post reporters that the color pattern was not meant to have any connection to the situation in Ukraine.

A number of Twitter users responded to the embassy’s tweet by pointing out the preexistence of the Iki color pattern and schedule. All the same, many others who saw the Skytree on Saturday night, or the photo posted by the embassy the next day, had their thoughts drawn to the Ukrainian people, and their hope for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict, with reactions including:

“Even if it’s a coincidence, a light of encouragement was shining from the tallest tower in Japan.”
“The end result is still deepening the bond between our country and Ukraine, and I have faith that they will know peace again.”
“Whether it was part of the regular rotation or not, when a lot of people saw the coloring it made them think of Ukraine, and that’s important.”
“If this gives the Ukrainian people even a little bit of courage, then I think it’s a good thing.”

Meanwhile, across town in the Shinjuku district, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (also known as Tocho) actually is lit up in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in a deliberate show of solidarity.

While it can’t claim “tallest structure in Japan” status, at 242.9 meters (797 feet) tall Tocho is still a massive presence, and the fact that it’s an actual governmental facility arguably makes the gesture more significant than one from the Skytree would be.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is scheduled to be illuminated in blue and yellow until March 6 from 6 to 11 p.m. nightly.

Source: Twitter/@UKRinJPN, Tobu Group, Huffington Post Japan, FNN Prime Online via Livedoor News, Tokyo Skytree
Images: Tobu Group
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!