The Japanese word “awo” (あを) came to be inscribed using the sinograph “青,” and in order to clarify the first points of contact where “青” came to have the meaning of “blue,” this presentation theorizes aspects of writing the sinograph for “blue” (青) as it appears in the lexis. The objective is to clarify what options writers had for inscription. The object of research for this presentation will be restricted to the Man’yōshū.First, the presentation will discuss poems in the Man’yōshū that use the sinograph “青” and classify them according to the color that is being expressed. Doing so will show that this period, using 青 to represent plants in general had diffused as a general notion of the color. However, this sinograph was not used for plants because it represents the color “green.” “青” incorporates the reverence and authority expressed in the Japanese word “awo,” and it contains a nuance of the sacred. Conversely, as seen in the assimilation of the Sinic compound “awomatsu” (青松) in Man’yōshū, in “青” there coexist both this sacred component of “awo” and notions learned from continental thought and the literary Sinitic canon.Inscription of “awo” uses the both the kun reading of “青” and the phonetic transcription “a wo” (安乎), and there are only four words that use both types of inscription: “awo yagi” (青柳), “awo kumo” (青雲), “awo nami (青波), and “awoniyoshi” (あをによし). Interestingly, poems where the sacred component of “awo” is being composed upon all use the sinograph “青,” whereas examples using phonetic transcription appear for words that derived from the continental canon.The result of examining the Sinic words for “awo nami,” “awo kumo,” and “awo yagi” and the examples that use phonetic transcription shows that these words were inscribed with a clear awareness of their nuances. Hence, when phonetic transcription was selected, it is plausible that Man’yōshū poets from the Tenpyō period were consciously selecting and writing the Japanese word itself.In this presentation, these four words were divided up based on how they were inscribed, suggesting that the writers’ conscious selection of inscription method was an attempt to return to the original meaning of “awo” by using phonetic transcription.