Japanese Baby Names

The Meanings of Japanese Names
Most Japanese names are written in kanji, though some names are written in hiragana or katakana. Hiragana are mainly used for girl's name because of its soft impression. Since there are thousands of kanji to choose from, even the same name usually can be written in many different kanji combinations.

For example, "Keiko" is a common female name. "Ko" is often used for the end of female names, and it means "a child". However, there are more than 70 variations that exist to write the name "Keiko" in kanji. Depending which characters are used the meanings differ. People often ask the meanings of Japanese names, but it is hard to tell the meaning of a name without knowing the kanji character(s) used to spell it.

To learn more about the Japanese names. The "Kanji Names Project site will also help you to understand the meanings of Japanese names with examples.

How to Name a Baby in Japanese
* From Image --- The image from nature, natural phenomenon, four seasons, color, arts, jewel and so on. One or two kanji characters (ocean, star, spring etc.) used in a name as key words.

* From Wish --- One or two kanji characters (courage, happiness, wisdom, success, beauty etc.) used in a name to wish for a baby.

* From Kanji Characters --- Choose the kanji character one likes or wishes to use, then create a name. There are some popular kanji characters for names. For example, "dai (big)" and "ta (great)" for boys, "mi (beauty)" and "yuu (gentle)" for girls. When the parents wish to name a child after their names or relative's, they use one of the kanji characters from that person's name instead of giving them the same name.

* From Sound --- This is a recent trend to name babies. Decide a name from sound, and then choose kanji characters for it.

* As In Memory --- Name after historical person, hero/heroine of a novel, celebrity etc.

* From Fortune Telling --- Some believe the number of strokes used in the first name and the last name must be compatible. There are various different styles of fortune telling for naming.

Typical Endings of Japanese Names* Male Names --- ~aki, ~fumi, ~go, ~haru, ~hei, ~hiko, ~hisa, ~hide, ~hiro, ~ji, ~kazu, ~ki, ~ma, ~masa, ~michi, ~mitsu, ~nari, ~nobu, ~nori, ~o, ~rou, ~shi, ~shige, ~suke, ~ta, ~taka, ~to, ~toshi, ~tomo, ~ya, ~zou, etc.* Female Names --- ~a, ~chi, ~e, ~ho, ~i, ~ka, ~ki, ~ko, ~mi, ~na, ~no, ~o, ~ri, ~sa, ~ya, ~yo, etc.