How do you say "glow-in-the-dark" in Japanese?

Specifically, I am referring to substances that absorb light and then emit the light back in a way that is visible when you remove all other light sources.

I am not referring to substances that rely on a one-time-use chemical reaction such as glow sticks, or substances such as fluorescent highlighters or black light posters that rely on a separate catalyst like a "black light" to create the glow effect. (While I wouldn't mind knowing how to describe these too, they are not the primary subject of the question.)

Examples of what I would like to be able to describe:

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Glow-in-the-dark fangs

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Note that in the third reference image there is text describing the product that reads: "Glows in the Dark". This is a literal explanation of what the product does, but I think the term "glow-in-the-dark" as an adjective is more useful, as it can be placed before any noun to explain that the subject in question has glowing properties. Whether this has any relevance regarding how this could be explained in Japanese, I don't know - but I think it's worth mentioning because a term that can be used to describe any object is most handy.


2 Answers 2


If it is referring to material in this page, then 夜光(素材) or 蓄光(素材). If you google with 夜光, then you will see what you put in the question. Depending on the material, such as powder, paper, particle, the (素材) part can be changed.

  • 夜光パウダー / 蓄光パウダー / 蓄光粉末 / ルミパウダー (ルミ can be used for luminescence) for powder.

Also this page explains the difference between 夜光 vs 蛍光 (fluorescent) in Japanese. So you could probably dig in more about 夜光/蓄光 to verify if the word is what you're actually looking for.

  • Nice answer. So it seems, based on answer "No.4" in the second link you posted, that 蓄光 has largely replaced 夜光 as the most widely used term for describing glow-in-the-dark things. And 蓄光材 or 蓄光素材 would be the way to describe the substances that cause the glowing. Thanks for shedding some light on that. ;-)
    – Mentalist
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 14:37

I know quite a lot about jigsaw puzzles, and one quite popular type is exactly as you describe: it is luminescent, meaning that the dyes absorb light, which they store and re-emit later. These are almost universally labelled as 光る{ひかる}パズル. These I have been rendering as "Glow-in-the-dark", exactly as you say. Here's an example page of these puzzles from Tenyo: http://www.tenyo.co.jp/jigsaw/catalog/t_light_list.html

  • Sorry, I followed the instructions, but cannot get the furigana thingy to work. Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 14:08
  • Don't put brackets around the kanji, just the furigana. Also, curly brackets work as well. E.g. KANJI{pronunciation}
    – bcloutier
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 14:35

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