I am considering on doing my first tattoo, and the words "kuro" and "dark" both have significance to me. I would like to know if the kanji 黒 has both meanings.

The word "dark" would be in the context of someone's inner, dark side.

1 Answer 1


The character for "black" is 黒, and its antonym is 白 ("white"). The character for "dark(ness)" is 闇, and its antonym is 光 ("light"). The connotations of 黒 and 闇 largely overlap both in English and Japanese. For example, in fantasy works, we see both 黒魔法 "black magic" and 闇魔法 "dark magic" very often, and they are named at the author's discretion for each work. If you can use two characters, 暗黒 and 漆黒 are other common words for "(complete) dark(ness)" (for example 暗黒騎士). In relation to one's inner side, we say 心の闇 ("darkness in one's heart") but not 心の黒.

Note that although these words are popular, they have been regarded as words typically loved by chunibyo patients at the same time. You should not use them casually unless you have a clear style.

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