If you are looking for original names with a nice meaning, Japanese baby names can be a great option.
Without the Japanese roots, you may not get used to it so quickly, but Japanese names can sound incredibly beautiful and almost melodic. Japan is a country full of beauty and wonder, not to mention its fascinating history. And the names! Unlike many modern countries, Japanese parents have remained within the tradition of choosing the name for their children.
Origins of Japanese baby names
Japanese parents have to consider many things when choosing a name for their child, not only does it have to sound good, but when it is written in kanji characters, the basic meaning of the name becomes easily visible.
During the time of feudal society in Japan, Christian names represented a person’s social status. During these times, Japanese names were fluent and often changed with a person’s status and affiliations. In the 1870s, with the creation of the family registration system and a formalized naming system, the Japanese naming tradition that we know today was created, which consists of a surname and a given name.
In Japan, the surname actually predates the given name and people are often referred to by their surname rather than by their first name, or what we traditionally think of as their first name. Given names are typically written in Chinese characters called kanji, which can dramatically change the meaning and pronunciation of the name.
Birth order names used to be common in older generations for children, but are not typically used today. These types of names list certain terms as suffixes. They include:
So if a child’s name was Daijiro (Dai means Great), the name would be translated as Great Second Son. Girls’ names in past generations often had a -ko suffix added to their name, meaning “boy.” This practice originated because the women of the imperial family had names ending in -ko. Other common suffixes for girls’ names included -mi (beauty), -na (plant), and -ki (tree).
From Sakura (meaning “cherry blossoms”) to Ren (meaning “lotus”), the Japanese make sure that their nicknames are all beautiful, auspicious, and deeply meaningful. This often catches the attention of parents around the world, many of whom like the fact that they do not necessarily gender-specific.
Japanese baby names often have wonderful meanings like love, kindness, a thousand butterflies, and brilliance. The names that parents give children often contain beautiful qualities that they want to give children. In this way, many names are also obtained which means honorable, honest, and precise for example.
I have chosen some of the many popular Japanese boy and girl names where you can get inspiration for your baby’s name. All names are still used today thanks to traditional Japanese culture.
It is important to note that in Japanese there are three writing systems, the kanjis are the sinograms used in the writing of the Japanese language, along with the hiragana and katakana syllabaries.
Japanese names are usually written with kanji characters, which can often be read in several different ways. Also, since there are thousands of kanji to choose from, even the same name can be written using many different kanji combinations (some have more than 50 combinations).
Japanese names for girls
On many occasions, Japanese parents give their daughters names related to nature, such as Tsubaki, which is the Japanese flower Camelia. Also, the names as I said above, Japanese names often consist of two parts that merge into one name, like Yukiko (Yuki = Snow and Ko = Child).
-Misaki 美咲 – Misaki is currently one of the most popular names for girls in Japan. It first became popular in the 1980s and has been ranked as the No. 1 girl name in Japan for several years according to lists published among others by Japanese insurance companies since the Japanese government does not publish official statistics.
-Hisa (寿) – Hisa is a charming Japanese name, normally considered feminine, which is said to mean “eternal” or “long”. Kanji can be written in different ways, and other associated meanings include “morning princess,” “sunflower,” or even “colorful light,” among other things. All these meanings are charming and would suit a girl very well. However, Hisa is not a very common name, so it can be a very original name for your baby.
-Midori (緑) – This is a lovely feminine name that most sources agree to “green” meaning, making it a great choice for a daughter of parents who love that color! Midori is considered rooted in Judaism, so she can also appeal to parents who belong to that particular faith. A source states that Kanji for Midori can also mean halcyon, which is sure to be attractive on a different level. Even if none of those meanings is true, it cannot be denied that Midori is simply a beautiful name.
-Miyu (心結(心) – It is a nice girl’s name, although some say it can easily be a boy’s name too, it is often said that it means “a beautiful truth” or “heart”. Other variations of the Kanji have the meaning of “progress and dreams” or “hope of helping someone”. Miyu has found more popularity in Japan, becoming among the top 20 names on the list in recent years in Japan.
-Shinon (獅子音) – Shinon is a unique version of the popular Shannon with Irish roots. Shinon, she’s not really related to Shannon, but they look and sound alike. Actually, Shinon is related to the Japanese name of the flower aster tataricus, and like the name, it means “memory”. Alternative methods of writing Kanji can give Shinon other meanings, such as “sound of the tide,” “princess,” or “presiding over warmth.” No matter what meaning you prefer, Shinon is a beautiful name, perfect for any girl.
Other names for girls you may like:
-Rin (凛) – It is the feminine derivation of the masculine name En, which is read as “rin”. This can mean cold, but also dignified and gallant.
-Sakura (桜) – It means “cherry blossom”, although you can also find it written with the hiragana writing system. It is said that it can also come from 咲 (saku) which means “flower” and 良 (ra) which means “good, virtuous, respectable” as well as other kanji combinations.
-Hina (陽菜) – In Japanese 陽 (hi)means “light, sun, man” o 日 (hi) which means “sun, day” combined with 菜 (na) which means “green vegetables”. This name is unisex, so it is often used for both girls and boys.
-Yuna (結菜) – Yuna means in Japanese “the moon”, “the night”.
Japanese names for boys:
-Raiden (雷神) – God of mythological thunder. Raiden is the typical English transcription of Raijin, the god of thunder and lightning in Japanese (Shinto) mythology. In Japanese, the name is made up of the characters 雷 y 神 which means “thunder” and “god, to be supreme”. In western culture, the god is known as Raiden de “rai” (雷, thunder) + “den” (電, lightning).
-Jomei (女明) – Khomei is a typically masculine name that is often defined as “spreading the light,” although some sources say that its meaning would be “spreading the joy.” Boys with this name are said to love music and friendship. Khomei has Sikh origins that come from Sikhism (a religion created in India in the 15th century) but it is still recognized as a clearly Japanese name, so in Japanese heritage or Sikhism it is an attractive name, although it is far from common in That country.
-Hironori (浩典) – It is most commonly used as a male name. Some definitions include “benevolent ruler”, “rich law”, “great decree” or “broad virtue”. All these meanings follow the same theme, more or less, one in which surely any father would expect of his son when he grew up. Hironori, however, remains a relatively rare name, perhaps best known for being shared by some well-known characters in Japan.
-Tetsuya (哲也) – A commonly agreed-upon meaning for the boy’s name Tetsuya is “philosopher”, often with descriptors like “smart”. Other Kanji writing methods can make Tetsuya mean “iron arrow” or “rigor”. The name is of Shinto origin and is seen sporadically throughout the recent history of Japan, given to politicians, songwriters, musicians, and even a character from the animated television series Pokemon.
-Tarou (太郎) – Any parent expects their child to be great and healthy, and the name Tarou is an excellent embodiment of that desire. Tarou literally means “a big son” or “a big man”, according to one of the most common ways of writing Kanji. Other Kanji arrangements are equally positive, with meanings such as “gentle joy,” “great tower,” or “thick cherry blossoms.” Tarou, of Shinto origin, is almost always a boy’s name and is different enough from other common boy names like Taro and Taru to stand out from the crowd.
Other names for boys you may like:
-Ren 蓮 – It means sacred lotus. The feminine derivation of this name is 凛, which is read as “rin”. This can mean cold, but also dignified and gallant.
-Sho 翔 – The name Sho means “take flight”, “fly”.
-Hiroto 大翔 – The name Hiroto means Great, Great, Command, Esteem, Flight …
-Yuma 悠真 – The name Yuuma in Japanese means “Leisure”, “Truth”.
-Sora 蒼空 – From Japanese 空 (sora) o 昊 (sora), they both mean “heaven”. Other kanji with the same pronunciation can also form this name.
Take it easy, check all the Japanese baby names as this is a very important decision and should be well thought out by the parents so that the choice is the best one and they can find the perfect name. In case you still have doubts, I leave you a link to our article about the popular names for boys and girls in 2019.
All the information that we give you in this article is indicative since each child and each family are different and unique.
Carolina González Ramos
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