Please pardon my ignorance but I am looking for a grammatically correct way to say, 'Embrace the void.' in Kanji/hiragana

I've done some research regarding the different methods of writing it but I have no actual knowledge of japanese sentence structure so I can only surmise based on what I've read.

I've come up with the following:


Is this fairly accurate or am I totally off?

擁 meaning embrace

擁する meaning 'to embrace' or 'to possess'

And finally 虚 being 'Void' or 'Emptyness'.

I appreciate any assistance!

Thank you

  • The sentence structure you currently have expresses "(the) embracing void", if anything.
    – deceze
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 1:41

3 Answers 3


The first translation that came up to my mind was 虚無を抱け. (In hiragana only, きょむをいだけ; in Latin alphabet, Kyomu o idake.)

擁する would be understood from the context, but at least in modern Japanese, 擁する is usually used in the sense of "(for a company/town/etc) to have (people/employees/etc)". 抱く is another verb which I think fits better with the context. And is this sentence meant to be imperative (i.e., an order)? Then you need the imperative form of this verb, which is 抱け.

虚 is not wrong, but it's too short and may not be understood unless you use it in an established idiom. My suggestion is 虚無.

擁する虚 happens to be grammatical and mean something like "the void that has something", but that's not what you want it to mean. Probably you just wrote down two words as if they were English words? Then you should have been aware of the fact that word order is totally different between English and Japanese. In Japanese the verb comes after the corresponding object, and you have to mark an object of a verb with a particle (o). Hence my translation 虚無を抱け. This should work fine in lyrics, poems or such. Don't use it in everyday speech.

  • That is exactly what I have done. My apologies for my ignorance, and thank you so much for your insightful response. I am trying to teach myself and a friend asked me to figure out how to make this into a quote for a tattoo. To be more specific: The term, 'embrace the void' isn't really an order/command as much as a sort of philosophy. It's a nuance to facing your fears and fighting your problems head on. 'The void' being your problems/depression, and the term 'Embracing' as an ad-verb to describe the manner that you tackle the problems. Thank you again. I really appreciate your help.
    – Kelly
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 16:57

First off, it would be useful to learn a bit of basic Japanese grammar -- A little goes a long way!

Second, there are a number of ways to phrase your phrase. One thing to be aware of when phrasing things in Japanese is the Subject-Object-Verb order, which is contrary to languages such as English, where we utilize Subject-Verb-Object order in sentence structure.

Third, you have to take particles into consideration. For example, the は (pronounced 'wa') particle marks a topic. The を (pronounced 'o' or 'wo' with a more or less silent w) marks an object to which a verb is being applied to. This particle might be the one we need to use here.

Next, the kanji you used for 'void' is only a part of the full word, which is most commonly an adjective for something that IS void (here, the word 虚しい 'munashii' is the adjective in question). It is possible to turn this adjective into a noun by changing the last い into さ, making the word 虚しさ 'munashisa', which is likely the "void" you're attempting to describe.

Also, the する-verb you selected 擁する 'you-suru' refers to a having. You may want to try the verb 抱く 'daku', which is probably closer to the idea of embracing something. Then, in order to turn this into an imperative conjugation, you may try the soft way, which is turning it into a て-form (抱いて) which implies asking someone to 'embrace the void', or otherwise use direct imperative form 抱け 'dake' to direct someone to 'embrace the void'

So, with these clues, do you think you can put the phrase together? ;)


There are many ways to convey this but probably none that can do so exactly like you wish.

If by void, you meant nothingness, I would probably go with 虚無.
And for embrace, if the intended meaning was to accept/invite, I might go with the verb 迎える.

Which would result into something like.


Odds are I am way off though...
It is quite an unusual sentence to start with.

I would be glad to hear other peoples opinion on this.

  • 虚無に迎える (「~に迎える」でなく「~を迎える」でしょうけど、)「~を受け入れる」のほうがいいかなと思います・・
    – chocolate
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 15:28

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