|Japanese girl names
How to choose a Japanese name for yourself or your kid?
Americans look to their heritage and family history for children’s names, while the Japanese usually do not name children after themselves or relatives. The steps below will direct you to the meanings and spellings of some Japanese names.
I will share you my own experience of choosing Japanese girl names.
In the beginning, I found out how hard it can be to choose Japanese girl names. My Japanese is shamefully rudimentary, I rely on plenty of online resources for Japanese naming help, which I’ll go into later. Then, I found out how popular Japanese names are, in the sense of being well-liked, if not yet well-used. I had thought that nobody would appreciate a Japanese name unless they were Japanese, or maybe because they’d spent considerable time in Japan.
What are the possible difficulties you might experience while choosing a Japanese name for girls or boys?
First, pronounciation. Japanese words written in Romancharacters are called Romaji. Don’t worry, Romaji isn’t scary. For instance, R’s are flipped, like a cross between an R and a D. Pronounce every syllable with equal emphasis, and you’ll be right 90% of the time. For instance, most people pronounce my sister’s name, Sakura, like this: saw-KUR-rah. The correct pronounciation is saw-koo-rah, with a small, quick, flipped R. There are some interesting trends in Japanese girl names today. For instance, Japanese parents aren’t using the traditional name suffix –ko for their girl’s names these days.
Many Japanese girl names have a cultural context.
I learn a lot of knowledge about the meaning of Japanese girl names from my Japanese grandfather. Most Japanese baby name lists will tell you “Umeko” means “plum blossom child”. Some will even add that plum blossoms symbolize devotion. But my grandfather explained why: plum blossoms symbolize wifely fidelity because they bloom when other flowers won’t, in the cold and snow of early spring. I found that an eloquent symbol of beauty in adversity, and Umeko became one of my favorite Japanese girl names. A lot of Japanese girl names have a similarly rich context.
But how to choose a Japanese name?
Select a name that means intelligence: Tomo for a girl and Hideaki for a boy. Choose a name synonymous with longevity. For girls, these include Kishi, Kameko and Sen. Kameko means turtle child, and a turtle symbolizes a long life. Sen is a mythical elf that lives for thousands of years. For boys, Juro means long life. Decide on a name that reflects a peaceful, reserved child. For girls, Rei means polite and Shika means gentle deer. For boys, Hisoka means reserved and Kioshi means quiet. Choose a Japanese name that symbolizes strength: Mio for a girl and Kaori or Takeshi for a boy.
Here I will share you a short list of my favorite Japanese names for girls and boys, some of them are old but most of them are the latest and coolest.
Japanese Names For Girls
AMAI- (ah-my) “sweet”
AIRI- (eye-ree) ai “love, affection” combined with ri “jasmine” or ri “pear”.
AKIKO- (ah-kee-koh) aki “red”, “autumn” with ko “girl”
CHIEKO- (chee-ay-koh) chi,”wisdom” or “thousand” with ko “girl”
CHOU- (cho-oo) “butterfly”
EMI- (ay-mee) e “blessing, favour” or e “picture” with mi “beautiful”.
HIKARI- (hee-kah-ree) “light” often written in hiragana
HINATA- (hee-nah-ta) “sunflower” or “facing the sun” often written in hiragana
HISA- (hee-sah) “long-awaited” often written in hiragana
HOSHI- (hoh-shee) “star”
IZUMI- (ee-zoo-mee) “fountain, spring”
KAEDE- (kah-eh-deh) “maple”
KAORI-(kah-oh-ree) “smell, perfume, fragrance”. It can also come from ka “smell, perfume” and ori “weaving”. Often written using the hiragana writing system.
KAWAII- (kah-wye-ee) “cute, darling”
MAI -(mye) “dance” or “linen robe”. It can also come from ma “real, true” with ai “love, affection”. Mai is a traditional dance from western Japan.
MARIKO-(mah-ree-koh) ma “real, true”, ri “village” and ko “child”.
MEGUMI-(meh-goo-mee) “beautiful blessing’ often written in hiragana
MEI- (may) me “bud, sprout” combined with i “reliant”, i “life” or i “clothing, garment”.
MICHIKO-(mee-chee-koh) mi “beautiful”, chi “wisdom, intellect” and ko “child”.
MIKA (mee-kah) mi “beautiful” combined with ka “smell, perfume” or ka “increase”.
NAOMI- (nah-oh-mee) nao “honest, straight” and mi “beautiful”.
REI-(ray) “bell” or “lovely”
RINA-(ree-nah) ri “jasmine” or ri “village” combined with na, a phonetic character, or na “vegetables, greens”.
RIO- (ree-oh) ri “jasmine” or ri “village” combined with o “center”, o “thread” or ou “cherry blossom”.
SAKURA- (sah-koo-rah) “cherry blossom” symbol of prosperity; very popular Japanese name.
SAYURI-(sah-yoo-ree) sa, “small” and yuri, “lily”
SHIORI-(shee-oh-ree) “to weave a poem”
SORA- (soh-rah) “sky”
SUKI- (soo-kee) “favorite, dear, pet”
UME-(oo-may) “plum” plum blossoms symbolize wifely fidelity
YUUNA-(yoo-nah) yui “tie, bind” and na “vegetables, greens”.
Japanese Names For Boys
AKIRA – (AH-kee-rah) “bright, clear”
ARATA- (ah-rah-tah) “fresh, new”
HARUKI- (hah-roo-kee)) haru,”clear up” or “sun, sunlight” combined with ki, “radiance, shine” or “life”.
HIKARU- (hee-kah-roo) “light” or “radiance”
ISAMU- (ee-sah-moo) “bravery” or “to be inspired with courage”
KAITO- (ky-toh) From kai “sea, ocean” combined with to, which refers to the constellation Ursa Major, or to “soar, fly”.
KAZUKI- (kah-zoo-kee) kazu “one” or kazu “harmony” combined with ki “radiance, shine” or ki “hope”.
KENJI-(ken-jee) ken, “study” and ji “two”.
MAKOTO- (mah-koh-toh) “sincerity”
MASARU- (mah-sah-roo) “victory”
NAOKI- (nah-oh-kee) nao “honest, straight” and ki “tree”.
SEIJI- (say-jee) “lawful”, “manages affairs of state”
SENTARO –(sen-tah-roh) sen, “steel” and taro, “boy”, a common boy’s name suffix. The steel refers to the many-folded superstrong steel from which samurai swords are made.
SHIGERU- (shee-geh-roo) “flourishing, luxuriant”.
SORA- (soh-rah) “sky”
TAKASHI-(tah-kah-shee) can be written as “filial piety” “noble, prosperous” or “reverence”.
TAKESHI-(tah-keh-shee) “military, warrior”
TSUBASA-(tsoo-bah-sah) “wing” or “fly up”
YUKI- (yoo-kee) “happiness” or “snow”. It can also come from yu, “reason” combined with ki ,”valuable” or ki, “chronicle”.
YUMA- (yoo-mah) yuu “distant, leisurely” or yu,) “gentleness, superiority” combined with m,) “real, true”.