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西の空に陽が落ちかけていた。 燃える夕陽に、そこまで迫っている夜が混ざり合い、 西の空一面を覆う赤が独特の色合いに黒ずんでいる。

I understand is "西の空一面を覆う赤が" the red that covers the west sky surface" and "独特の色合い" of an unique unique hue" and 黒ずんでいる "it darkens" but why is に used here?

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I would understand this use of に instrumentally. By which I mean, it expresses how the red darkened the sky.

西の空一面を覆う赤が独特の色合いに黒ずんでいる

I would read this as, "The red that covered the western sky darkened into a unique hue".

Clearly here I'm sticking with an English "into" that will align decently with how に is being used here.

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  • I agree with your interpretation but I'm still confused about your use of "instrumentally" despite the explanation you added because "how" can mean many different things. At first I thought you meant "by what means (or instrument)" but you translated the に to "into" which expresses a result rather than a means. Is my reading of the adverb being too narrow?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jan 16 at 2:59
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    @aguijonazo I meant "instrumental" in the sense of "in the manner of". Perhaps it's not the right word to use. I'm open to suggestions for a better term. In Sanskrit and Latin (languages which I've previously studied), this "how ... occurred" is described as an instrumental use. Perhaps I'm letting the terminology for these Indo-European languages influence me too much; perhaps it's not so suitable with Japanese.
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Jan 16 at 3:06

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