I have written this blog post for you to teach you the best ways to say “black” in Japanese. There are 4 words for “black” and the “color black” that are frequently used in Japanese and I will tell you their real meaning, English translations, their kanji, as well as when and how to use them.
Kuro (黒, くろ) is the Japanese word and kanji for the color black, while kuroi (黒い, くろい) is an adjective meaning “black”. As an alternative, the words kuroiro (黒色, くろいろ) and burakku (ブラック) can be used to say “black” in Japanese.
Read on, if you want to know all the details about the 4 Japanese words for “black“. After that, you can also learn how to say “pitch black” and “jet black” in Japanese. At the end of this post you will find a useful list with translations and kanji for popular words such as “black cat“, “black demon“, “black clover“, and “black dragon“.
How to Say “Black” in Japanese
- kuro – 黒
- kuroi – 黒い
- kuroiro – 黒色
- kokushoku – 黒色
- burakku – ブラック
1. Kuro – Means “Black” or “Black Color” in Japanese
Kuro (黒, くろ) is a basic Japanese noun and kanji that means “black“, but it can also be translated into English as “black color“. The noun is used when talking about the color “black” in Japanese and is also used in many words such as “black cat” (kuroneko) or “black dog” (kuroi inu).
2. Kuroi – Adjective for “Black” in Japanese
Kuroi (黒い, くろい) is a Japanese i-adjective that translates into English as “black“. However, it has a couple of other meanings including “dark“, “blackish“, “suspicious“, and “evil“. The adjective can be put before nouns to say things like “black dog” (kuroi inu) or “black jeans” (kuroi jiinzu).
3. Kuroiro – Means “Black Color” or “Black Colour”
Kuroiro (黒色, くろいろ) is another word for “black“, “black color“, or “black colour” in Japanese. It consists of the kanji for “black”, which is 黒 (kuro), and the kanji for “color”, which is 色 (iro).
An alternative reading for the word 黒色 (kuroiro) is “kokushoku“.
4. Burakku – English Loanword for “Black”
Burakku (ブラック) is an English loanword for “black” or the “color black“. While it can be used to talk about colors with your Japanese friends and colleagues, it is commonly found in video games, anime, and manga to give a cool-sounding name to places, monsters, and/or heroes.
How to Say “Pitch Black” in Japanese
The most commonly used words to say “pitch black” in Japanese are the noun and na-adjective makkuro (真っ黒, まっくろ) and the i-adjective makkuroi (真っ黒い, まっくろい). The English loanword picchi burakku (ピッチブラック) is less frequently used in daily conversations.
- makkuro – 真っ黒
- makkuroi – 真っ黒い
- makkuroke – 真っ黒け
- picchi burakku – ピッチブラック
1. Makkuro – Japanese Noun for “Pitch Black”
Makkuro (真っ黒, まっくろ) is a Japanese noun and na-adjective that means “pitch black“. The word can be used to form the sentence “It was pitch black” (Makkuro datta, 真っ黒だった) or to refer to a pitch black object by adding na (な) before the noun. Makkuro na kuruma (真っ黒な車) means “pitch black car“.
pitch black (noun)
2. Makkuroi – Japanese Adjective for “Pitch Black”
Makkuroi (真っ黒い, まっくろい) also translates as “pitch black” but it is an i-adjective. That means it can directly be added before a noun to say things like “pitch black car“, which is makkuroi kuruma (真っ黒い車) or “pitch black sun“, which translates into Japanese as makkuroi taiyou (真っ黒い太陽).
pitch black (adjective)
3. Makkuroke – Means “Pitch Black” or “Completely Black”
Makkuroke (真っ黒け, まっくろけ) is another Japanese word and na-adjective for “pitch black” that also translates as “completely black“. However, compared to makkuro (真っ黒) and makkuroi (真っ黒い) it is less often used.
4. Picchi Burakku – English Loanword for “Pitch Black”
There is also an English loanword for “pitch black“, which is picchi burakku (ピッチブラック). However, in a real conversation, native speaker would rather use one of the original Japanese words for “pitch black” like makkuroi (真っ黒い) instead of the English loanword.
Different Shades of the Color Black in Japanese
|midnight black||middonaito burakku||ミッドナイトブラック|
Japanese Translations & Kanji for Words With “Black”
|black clover||burakku kuroobaa||ブラッククローバー|
|black and white||kuro to shiro||黒と白|
|black bear||kuroi kuma||黒い熊|
|black flame||kuroi honoo||黒い炎|
|black rose||kuroi bara||黒いバラ|
|black lightning||kuroi inazuma||黒い稲妻|
|black moon||kuroi tsuki||黒い月|