60 Mystic Japanese Names With Dark Meaning(Must-See)

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
japanese city with lantern at the dark

Are you hunting for Japanese names with dark meanings?
Many people have a misconception that they should always stick to names that mean something positive. If you choose a name with a negative meaning, everyone believes that your life will be negatively influenced. But that’s not true. For instance, darkness can symbolize strength, knowledge, mystery, and power.
Designed for those captivated by the allure of the shadowed, here you’ll find names that might be the ideal match for your new character, child, or even an alter ego.

23 Japanese Boy Names With Dark Meanings

Stepping into the fascinating world of Japanese names, one can find a treasure trove of boy names with dark meanings. Here are some examples:

japanese warriors is sitting and thinking.

1. Kuro

  • Kanji: くろ
  • Meaning: Black or ninth son. 
  • Pronunciation: Kur-oH
  • This imposing name usually connotes mystery and darkness.

2. Inkyo

  • Kanji: いんきょ
  • Meaning: Shadow 
  • Pronunciation: Een-kyoh
  • Inkyo can also be interpreted as the dark side of life. What I like about it is how it can be viewed as both negative and positive. 

3. Kaiyo

  • Kanji: 海洋
  • Meaning: Darkness or ocean.
  • Pronunciation: KAA-iy-Yow
  • Japanese folks view Kaiyo as the vastness of the ocean or sea darkness. 

4. Akuji

  • Kanji: あくじ
  • Meaning: Bad deed or evil.
  • Pronunciation: Ah-koo-jee
  • In Africa, Akuji means dead yet awake. It is often associated with bravery, courage, loyalty, and strength.

5. Akuma

  • Kanji: あくま
  • Meaning: Demon or devil.
  • Pronunciation: Aku-MAH or A-koo-ma
  • In Japanese Christianity, Akuma means Satan. 

6. Boutoku

  • Kanji: ぼうと
  • Meaning: Cursed soul or blasphemy. 
  • Pronunciation: Bo-tok-oo
  • Boutoku is also a fictional character in Naruto Fanon

7. Inei

  • Kanji: 胤裔
  • Meaning: Shadow or dark.
  • Pronunciation: Ae-ney
  • Inei is a sublime and sweet name. It is often given to honor a loved one, conveying a sense of eternal love and devotion.

8. Kirai

  • Kanji: きらい
  • Meaning: Dislike or hate.
  • Pronunciation: Kee-rah-ee
  • It is another version of the name Kira.

9. Kowai

  • Kanji: こわい
  • Meaning: Scary.
  • Pronunciation: Koh-wah-ee
  • This is another great name if you appreciate names with many layers of meanings. It also means small, harmonious and calm.

10. Kuragari

  • Kanji: らがり
  • Meaning: Darkness.
  • Pronunciation: Kùrágárí
  • Kuragari is often used to symbolize danger, fear, and uncertainty. 

11. Kurai

  • Kanji: らい
  • Meaning: Gloomy or dark.
  • Pronunciation: Koo-ra-ee
  • Kurai is actually a Japanese adjective. It’s also a great choice for parents who want to give their children a name with an exotic and mysterious flair.

12. Kuraim

  • Kanji: 蔵真 
  • Meaning: Gloomy and dark.
  • Pronunciation: Koo-ra-eem
  • This is an international and timeless name that is very popular in Qatar. 

13. Kurayami

  • Kanji: らやみ
  • Meaning: Darkness.
  • Pronunciation: Koo-ra-yah-mee
  • This name has fictional references, especially in Bleach, where it means a God of death. 

14. Kurashi

  • Kanji: 暮し
  • Meaning: Dark.
  • Pronunciation: Koo-ra-si
  • It also means “fortunate” and is often given to a family’s firstborn child.

15. Kureru

  • Kanji: 呉れる
  • Meaning: To get dark. 
  • Pronunciation: Koo-rah-roo
  • It also means “to give.” Although “dark” sounds negative, the name Kureru carries positive connotations of generosity and kindness.

16. Kuroshi

  • Kanji: 黒潮
  • Meaning: Dark or black.
  • Pronunciation: Koo-ro-shee
  • Kuro denotes black, while shi means death. Kuroshi is also popular in other cultures and has been used in various contexts outside of Japan.

17. Orochi

  • Kanji: 大蛇
  • Meaning: A big snake.
  • Pronunciation: Oh-ro-chee
  • The most famous Orochi is the eight-headed dragon from Japanese mythology.

18. Aku

  • Kanji: あく
  • Meaning: Wicked.
  • Pronunciation: Ah-koo
  • Aku also means evil.

19. Ashi

  • Kanji: あし
  • Meaning: Evil.
  • Pronunciation: Ah-shee
  • It also means wickedness.

20. Ebiru

  • Kanji: エビル
  • Meaning: Evil.
  • Pronunciation: Eh-bee-roo
  • In Igbo, Ebiru can mean ‘desire’ or ‘dream.’ In Yoruba, it’s often used to describe someone as ‘happy,’ ‘joyful,’ or ‘blessed.’

21. Fuzen

  • Kanji: ふぜん
  • Meaning: Sin, mischief, or evil.
  • Pronunciation: Foo-zen
  • Sin is also a reminder of the importance of forgiveness, so Fuzen also has a positive meaning behind it.

22. Taihen

  • Kanji: 大変 
  • Meaning: Awful.
  • Pronunciation: Tay-hen
  • The literal translation is “too much” or “excess.”

23. Nozomi

  • Kanji: 望
  • Meaning: Hope, wish, desire
  • Pronunciation: noh-zoh-mee
  • Nozomi is a beautiful and meaningful name, representing hope and aspirations. The kanji character 望 signifies looking forward with optimism. This name is a wonderful choice for someone who brings a positive and optimistic spirit, carrying the idea of hopeful dreams and desires.

It’s worth noting that their interesting meanings can shift with context and societal usage. A name might have connotations of eternal sleep or other dark themes, but it can also carry additional meanings, reflecting the depth and layers inherent in each name.

18 Japanese Girl Names With Dark Meaning

Much like their male counterparts, Japanese girl names too can carry dark meanings. Yet, beneath the initial veneer of darkness, these names often reveal fascinating layers of cultural and personal significance.

In Japanese culture, dark names are seen as symbols of the unknown and the mystical, often linked to the afterlife. These names add depth to the decorative details, making them more than just names. They become narratives, telling tales of supernatural beings in human form or other dark entities.

Uncommon Japanese names with dark meanings

1. Ahma

  • Kanji: あふま
  • Meaning: Black rain.
  • Pronunciation: A-Ma
  • This is a gorgeous name for girls born in the rainy months, from September to November.

2. Akuhei

  • Kanji: 悪弊
  • Meaning: Evil.
  • Pronunciation: A-Ku-Ei
  • The name Akuhei is also associated with strength and power.

3. Kage

  • Kanji: かげ
  • Meaning: Shadow.
  • Pronunciation: Ka-geh
  • If your girl is born at night, you should definitely name her Kage. It is also a popular Japanese surname. 

4. Chiyo

  • Kanji: 千 
  • Meaning: Bloody night.
  • Pronunciation: kòhákú
  • The name has a variety of symbolic meanings, including prosperity, longevity, and inner strength.

5. Somberu

  • Kanji: くすんだ
  • Meaning: To be born in the evening.
  • Pronunciation: Sohm-bey-ru
  • It is the perfect moniker for a baby girl born in the twilight. 

6. Youko

  • Kanji:ようく
  • Meaning: Night child.
  • Pronunciation: Yoh-Koh
  • Youko is excellent for girls born under the moon’s light. 

7. Ahmya

  • Kanji: 天弥
  • Meaning: Black rain.
  • Pronunciation: Ah-MY-a
  • I think this would be a really fitting name for a child born on a rainy day or whose parents first met in the rain. So romantic, isn’t it?

8. Amaya

  • Kanji: 雨夜
  • Meaning: Night rain or mother city. 
  • Pronunciation: A-ma-ya
  • Another great name for a child born on a rainy day with a pleasant sound.

9. Kanashi 

  • Kanji: 悲しい
  • Meaning: Sorrowful or sad. 
  • Pronunciation: Kan-a-si
  • Not everyone will like a name denoting depression, but it sounds really nice.

10. Maria

  • Kanji: まりあ
  • Meaning: The sea of bitterness. 
  • Pronunciation: Mah-ri-yah
  • Maria is one of the most popular international names, but it’s interesting how only a few people know its meaning.

11. Sunako

  • Kanji: 砂子
  • Meaning: Dark side. 
  • Pronunciation: Sun-ah-ko
  • Sunako can also mean the fruit or necessary. When you say this name aloud, it sounds so cute.

12. Warui

  • Kanji: わるい
  • Meaning: Wicked or bad.
  • Pronunciation: Wa-ru-ee
  • Warui is also a Kenyan name. In that culture, it means a person who belongs to the river. If you’re looking for a name with double meaning, here’s the one.

13. Yoru

  • Kanji: 夜 
  • Meaning: Darkness.
  • Pronunciation: Yo-roo
  • Yoru directly means dark or night. It’s also associated with the idea of hope and renewal.

14. Yui

  • Kanji: ゆい
  • Meaning: Alone.
  • Pronunciation: Yoo-ee
  • This is a short three-syllable name. Yui is also the name of a popular anime and manga series.

15. Higa 

  • Kanji: ひが
  • Meaning: Evil.
  • Pronunciation: Hee-gah
  • It also means untrue. It can be seen as a symbol of strength and determination in adversity.

16. Akumu

  • Kanji: あくむ
  • Meaning: Nightmare. 
  • Pronunciation: Ah-koo-moo
  • This feminine name truly stands out. It is a reminder to stay aware of our thoughts and feelings.

17. Koko

  • Kanji: 此処
  • Meaning: Black foot.
  • Pronunciation: Koh-Koh
  • Koko also denotes night. It is sweet and strong, a perfect blend of old-fashioned charm and modern style.

18. Kuroi

  • Kanji: 黒い
  • Meaning: Black.
  • Pronunciation: Koor-oh-ee
  • Kuroi embraces the sophistication and beauty of the darkness. 

19 Gender-Neutral Japanese Names That Mean Dark

Beyond the binary of male and female lie a host of gender-neutral Japanese names that embody darkness. Some examples include:

Eerie and enigmatic Japanese girl names

1. Kai

  • Kanji: かい
  • Meaning: Mystery or black. 
  • Pronunciation: Kah-ee
  • Kai is actually the symbol of the unknown. In other words, you may depict this name as positive or negative. 

2. Jikan

  • Kanji: じかん
  • Meaning: Time and darkness. 
  • Pronunciation: Jee-kan
  • Japanese interpret Jikan as the darkness of the soul or the night darkness. 

3. Chi

  • Kanji:
  • Meaning: Black 
  • Pronunciation: Ch-ee
  • Chi is often viewed as a metaphor for the heart’s darkness. 

4. Aoi

  • Kanji: 青い
  • Meaning: Blue or dark.
  • Pronunciation: Ah-oh-EE
  • People interpret Aoi as the darkness of the night sky or the water. It’s also a popular name for several characters in Japanese literature and anime.

5. Kure

  • Kanji: 呉市
  • Meaning: Black
  • Pronunciation: Koo-reh
  • Kure is a representation of the soul’s darkness or the nighttime gloom. 

6. Yami

  • Kanji: やみ
  • Meaning: Mystery or black.
  • Pronunciation: Yah-mee
  • A positive or negative symbol of the unknown.

7. Yuki

  • Kanji:
  • Meaning: Moon.
  • Pronunciation: Yoo-kee
  • Yami also has a spiritual significance in many different cultures.

8. Shiro

  • Kanji: しろ
  • Meaning: Dark silver. 
  • Pronunciation: Shee-roh
  • Shiro also means a sign of good luck or the moonlight. 

9. Mayu

  • Kanji: 麻友
  • Meaning: Moon.
  • Pronunciation: Mah-yoo
  • Another meaning of the name is “true” or “genuine.”

10. Muga

  • Kanji: 無我
  • Meaning: Nothing
  • Pronunciation: Moo-gah
  • Opt for a name that has no specific connotations but evokes feelings of strength, courage, knowledge, and understanding.

11. Kurou:

  • Kanji: 九郎
  • Meaning: Ninth son
  • Pronunciation: koo-roh
  • Kurou is a traditional and strong name, perfect for someone who is resilient and holds a position of significance as the ninth son.

12. Kaito:

  • Kanji: 海斗
  • Meaning: Ocean, big dipper
  • Pronunciation: kai-toh
  • Kaito is a modern and dynamic name, symbolizing a connection to the ocean and the vastness of the universe. It’s a name that suggests a free-spirited and adventurous personality.

13. Sora:

  • Kanji:
  • Meaning: Sky
  • Pronunciation: soh-rah
  • Sora is a simple and elegant name, representing the open sky. It’s a name that signifies freedom and expansiveness, making it a great choice for someone with a broad, imaginative spirit.

14. Ryo:

  • Kanji:
  • Meaning: Refreshing, cool
  • Pronunciation: ryo
  • Suggestion Reasons: Ryo is a cool and refreshing name, suitable for someone with a calm and composed demeanor. The kanji adds a touch of elegance, making it a versatile and stylish choice.

15. Gaito:

  • Kanji: 凱斗
  • Meaning: Victory, big dipper
  • Pronunciation: guy-toh
  • Gaito is a powerful and confident name, signifying victory and the prominent constellation of the big dipper. It’s a name suitable for someone destined for success.

16. Kumo:

  • Kanji:
  • Meaning: Cloud
  • Pronunciation: koo-moh
  • Kumo is a light and airy name, symbolizing the grace and tranquility of clouds. It’s a name that suggests a gentle and dreamy personality.

17. Kiri:

  • Kanji:
  • Meaning: Mist, fog
  • Pronunciation: kee-ree
  • Suggestion Reasons: Kiri is a name that evokes mystery and softness, much like mist or fog. It’s a delicate and enchanting choice.

18. Ame:

  • Kanji:
  • Meaning: Rain
  • Pronunciation: ah-meh
  • Ame is a simple and refreshing name, connected to the gentle and nourishing qualities of rain. It’s a name that carries a sense of renewal and positivity.

19. Mizu:

  • Kanji:
  • Meaning: Water
  • Pronunciation: mee-zoo
  • Mizu is a clean and pure name, symbolizing the essential and versatile nature of water. It’s a name suitable for someone adaptable and fluid in their approach to life.

Japanese Last Names with Dark Connotations

Japanese last names too carry their share of dark connotations. Some examples include:

  • Yami (Darkness)
  • Kurayami (Darkness)
  • Kurozawa (Dark swamp)
  • Kowabari (Fearful)
  • Kage (Shadow)
  • Daku (Cloudy or Dark)
  • Akuma (Devil or Demon)
  • Kuroiwa (Black Rock)
  • Shi (Death)
  • Oni (Ogre)

These names often come with a dark undertone, adding a layer of intrigue to one’s identity.

In Japan, last names with dark meanings are seen as having spooky connotations, often linked to supernatural creatures and mythical beings. These names could reflect a family’s history or origins, adding another layer of depth to the name. Nevertheless, it’s vital not to overlook the social implications of these names, as some surnames can reveal a family’s buraku origin, which carries social significance even today.

dark sky and the trees

How To Craft a Dark Japanese Name?

Crafting a dark Japanese name is an art in itself. The process usually begins with a name that sounds pleasing and carries a special meaning.

For boys, names usually end with suffixes like -ro, -shi, -ya, or -o, and for girls, it’s often -ko, -mi, -e, or -yo. Typically, two kanji are used for first names, and the name is arranged with the last name first, followed by the first name.

To infuse a name with a darker edge, one can use words or kanji characters like Kuro (黒) for ‘black’, Yami (闇) for ‘darkness’ or ‘shadow’, and Kurai (暗い) for ‘dark’ or ‘gloomy’. These choices add a darker tinge to the names, making them more intriguing.

Nevertheless, understanding these elements’ cultural and linguistic meanings is key for deeper symbolism. Ensuring alignment with gender norms and the intended meaning of the name is also imperative.

Some names might be associated with a fallen angel, a dead person, or other dark beings, adding another layer of intrigue.

FAQs

6 Ideas to Craft a Perfect Japanese Name That Means Dark

  1. Follow this order – Surname and then add the first name. 
  2. Consider the kanji as well. 
  3. Only pick two kanji for your name. 
  4. Pick the kanji you like. 
  5. If you have a special Japanese family name meaning dark, go with that. 
  6. Pick a name with tradition. 

5 Reasons to Have a Japanese Name That Means Dark

  1. Your child will gain a strong personality.
  2. The kid will have an unconventional perspective on life.
  3. Your child will stand out in the crowd and class.
  4. Your little one will be intelligent and mature.
  5. Your baby will be unique and special.

What Japanese name means bloody night?

The Japanese name “Chiyo” means “bloody night.”

What Japanese names mean moon?

The Japanese name “Tsuki” means “moon” and is a popular choice for girls due to its beautiful and serene meaning.

Final Thoughts

I hope you see dark and names meaning darkness in a different light now. Whether it’s a name that whispers of the night or one that roars with the fury of a storm, each name is a story waiting to be told. Which names did you like the best? 

Feel free to tell me in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "mamallove.com" and "cashsavvytips.com", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

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