I sometimes see both 桃色 and ピンク translated to "pink."

In Japanese, are 桃色 and ピンク the same colors, or do they refer to similar but different colors?




4 Answers 4


I think mostly Japanese people think 桃色 and ピンク(pink) are same color and I thought so, but their color seem to be a bit different after my searching.

Pink is a color of flowers of dianthus. 桃色 is a color of flowers of peach. Peach is close to a color of meat of peach. So, that is to say, 桃色 is more close to a color of peach blossom than pink, isn't it?

Source https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%A1%83%E8%89%B2

  • I wonder when ピンク entered the Japanese vocabulary? Seems like dianthus flowers are native to Japan, what was their color before ピンク was a word?
    – bcloutier
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:40
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    There is なでしこ色 as a color of dianthus flowers but it's not common. A color between red and white is usually called 桃色. I also wonder why pink is translated as 桃色. Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 17:27

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From my (subjective) understanding, the bag on the left is both 桃色 and ピンク (or 明るいピンク), while the bag on the right is ピンク (or 濃いピンク, ショッキングピンク) but not 桃色.

桃色 is usually associated with a juvenile, girly, or cute image (cf. 桃色片思い). ピンク also has a cute image, but ピンク is a color with various images, and one of them is adult and sexy (eg. ピンク街 is "red-light district" in Japanese).

  • Subjectiveですが、桃色もadultなイメージはあると思います(ちょっと昭和かもしれませんが) Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 6:02
  • 1
    – chocolate
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 10:01

I'm not sure there is an exact answer for this, much like if you asked someone if "indigo" and "purple" were different colors. From what I can see, 桃色 and ピンク are practically interchangeable.

This color chart shows both colors as different. ピンク is standard pink and 桃色 is closer to peach color. However, a 桃 isn't like a Western peach, it has many shades, many of which are like the Western pink color.

This chart doesn't have a 桃色 entry at all, only ピンク. You'll notice it has a ピーチ entry as well.

Color naming is not scientific, except for RGB, CMYK, etc systems. It's subjective, so much like "scarlet" and "red", 桃色 and ピンク appear to be interchangeable.

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    Indigo and purple are different colours :P !! I agree, everyone has a different vocab to colour system so it's hard to say something is universal.
    – ishikun
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:32

If you use 桃色 and ピンク to describe color they are mostly same. But in Japanese we sometime use these color to express emotion or attitude. For example if I say お前の頭の中ピンク色過ぎ。 This means you always think sexual things. so ピンク sometimes used to explain something related to sexual thing.

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