I've found 3 words with the definition of the night/midnight.

But some difficulties appeared. This is the answer have found:

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  1. Is 夜中 or 真夜中 is more correct for exactly midnight? At about 00:00. Because my Student's book consider both as a midnight.
  2. If 夜中 is a dark time (from ~20:00 to 4:00), what's the difference between 夜 and 夜中 then?

1 Answer 1


Broadly speaking:

  • 夜【よる】 = "evening (generally after dark), night"
  • 夜【よ】中【なか】 = "nighttime"
  • 真【ま】夜【よ】中【なか】 = "middle of the night"

If you want to be super specific about "midnight" as in "12:00 AM", you may well say 「夜の12時」.

For good measure, there are also these terms related to "night":

  • 夜【よ】更【ふ】け = "late at night"
  • 深【しん】夜【や】 = "late at night"
  • 深【しん】更【こう】 = "late at night" (less commonly used)

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