Hi, it’s Junko from Japan. Are you looking for popular Japanese names that mean shadow? A Japanese word for shadow is KAGE. But honestly, the name KAGE is not common for a baby boy or a baby girl. To name someone KAGE may be possible in manga or anime, but impossible in reality. If you name someone KAGE, I bet it’ll be regarded as a bizarre name. It’s equivalent to calling someone “kitchen” or something.
On the other hand, we have some Japanese last names that include the shadow symbol. For example, there’s a last name KAGEYAMA, meaning “shadow mountain.” So the Kanji character for the shadow itself is available for names, and it has two ways of reading: KAGE and EI. If you want mysterious names of Japanese origin badly, I want to offer two options.
- Choose the names that include KAGE or EI sounds
- Borrow the word from the shadow of god in Japanese myth
Let’s begin with the first option! Here is the list of names including KAGE and EI sounds. Plus, they all make sense as given names.
Japanese Boy Names Including KAGE
Japanese Boy Names Including EI
Japanese Girl Names Including KAGE
Japanese Girl Names Including EI
Other Japanese Words with Dark Meanings
For your inspiration and ideas, I place some Japanese words with dark meanings. They don’t directly mean shadow but represent something dark.
- AN (dark)
- IN (shadow, Yin of Yin and Yan forces)
- MEI (underworld, Hades, the other world)
- SAYO (night)
- SUMI (black ink)
- YAMI (darkness)
- YORU (night)
- YU (ghost, dark, dim, hazy)
As you know, the Japanese language can give different meanings to words depending on the Kanji letters. I picked up the words with negative meanings here, but it’s also possible to give other positive meanings to them. For example, MEI stands for the world for the dead, But the sound MEI can have other Kanji characters that represent “bright” or “life.”
Japanese Gods That Govern Dark Shadow
Japan has a unique religion called SHINTO (the way of god). There are some gods who govern the dark shadow world. Though they symbolize darkness and shadow, it doesn’t mean they’re the evil gods. All the gods and goddesses here are respected and enshrined in Japan. I think you can create unique and interesting names inspired by them.
TUKUYOMI means “moon night” or “read moon” in Japanese. As his name shows, he’s the moon god who governs the night world. He’s one of the noblest gods in Japanese ancient myth, but his identity stays a mystery since there are few descriptions of him. Like the moon, he’s the mysterious god.
KURAMITSUHA or KURAMIZUHA is a dragon god in Japanese myth who controls water. When written in Kanji letters, KURAMITSUHA’s KURA uses the Kanji symbol that means “darkness.” It’s said KURAMITSUHA was born from the sword of IZANAGI, the father of all gods in Japan.
It’s a cool name but is not usual for a person’s name. I think the word MITSUHA from KURAMITSUHA would be a great choice for a name. It’s a beautiful name and can be used as a gender-neutral name. KURAMITSUHA has another way of reading, and it’s KURAMIZUHA. MIZUHA also sounds beautiful.
YOMI or OMI
In Japanese myth, the realm of the dead is called YOMI NO KUNI (the land of the underground fountain). The souls of the dead go to the YOMI world. It’s not hell but the world where the dead dwells.
IZANAMI is a queen goddess who governs the YOMI world. She was originally the mother of gods who bear many Japanese gods, but later she became the goddess of the dark world. If you use it for a name, separate it IZA and NAMI would make more common names. NAMI is a popular name for a little girl in Japan.