On This Page
- Japanese Baby Names for Girls
- Japanese Baby Names for Boys
- Gender-Neutral Japanese Baby Names
- More Baby Names
Japanese baby names check all the boxes: They have a song-like ring to them, they’re full of meaning, and they pay tribute to a lovely culture.
Japanese baby names often have nature-based significance or carry messages tied to family and society. They tend to be closely attached to their actual word meanings, so that in Japan it is easy to understand the meaning of someone’s name, whether you’ve heard it given before or not. Many Japanese baby names also have multiple meanings due to the character structure of the Japanese language...which is part of the fun of imparting a Japanese baby name onto your child!
If you have Japanese roots or a connection to Japan you’d like to honor, consider a baby name from this list of popular, cute, and unique Japanese names for boys and girls.
Japanese Baby Names for Girls
Ahma: It’s a super-rare Japanese girl name (only 8 total Ahma’s born 1980-2018) with a boho-chic meaning: “black rain.”
Akari: The Japanese name meaning “lights” or “brightness” has a splendid feel and flow for Baby Girl. Or you might consider the similar Akira, meaning “bright and intelligent.”
Aya: It means “colorful,” and is a fun alternative to more common girl names, like Maya, Kaia, or Isla.
Bashira: A “joyful” Japanese girl name that is still very rare, but so sweet. She could go by the super-cute, shortened Shira if the name is too much for a young Bashira to pronounce on her own.
Chiyo: Such a cute-sounding Japanese name, its meaning is “a thousand generations,” making it a poignant nod to all the family members who came before.
Emi: The popular Japanese version of a name that’s similar to the more common pick among American parents—Emy, or Emmie. In Japanese it means “beautiful smile.”
Fumiko: This one means “intellectual,” and lends itself to a host of cute nicknames including Fumi or Miko.
Hana: If you like the biblical name Hannah, consider this precious Japanese baby girl name of a similar pronunciation and spelling, which means “flower, blossom.”
Hayami: A unique Japanese baby name meaning “rare beauty,” this is a special choice for a little girl. The name is not popular in Japan or abroad, so she’d likely be the only one with it in your town.
Himari: This cute baby name is rising in popularity in Japan, and in addition to its melodic sound, it has lovely meanings. Depending upon interpretation, Himari stands for the hollyhock flower, jasmine, or sunflower; it also can mean “ball of light” or “home of light and love.”
Hina: Meaning “light” or “sun,” it’s a bright and hopeful name for a baby girl.
Hoshi/Hoshiko: Whether you choose the short or long version of this name, your daughter will certainly grow into the “star” she was named after.
Ichika: The modern Japanese baby girls’ name has anime connotations, and means “one summer.” (Check outmore summer baby names!)
Japana: It’s a new and creative baby girl name with the meaning “ambitious.”
Kairi: The beautiful Japanese girls’ name means “ocean village;” change the meaning slightly by replacing the final “i” with a “y” to make it Kairy—“sea.” Two serene oceanic options for a little girl.
Kasumi: As ethereal in meaning as it is in sound, the Japanese girl name translating to “mist” is gorgeous and rare.
Kiko: Kiko means “hope,” and its short-and-sweet nature makes it a winner for parents seeking a simple yet pretty Japanese girl name. (See more hopeful baby names.)
Kimi: Not dissimilar to Kimmy, a nickname for Kimberly, this popular Japanese baby girl name means “honorable.”
Koko: It sounds like fashion-conscious “Coco” from the French, but this super-cute Japanese name for girls actually means “stork.”
Kokorohime: Part of the current trend of “Kira Kira,” or sparkly names for girls, this is a very popular little girl name in Japan and it means “princess at heart.”
Mana: This little girls’ name means “affection.” And though it is arranged of typical Japanese sounds, it’s one of those names that could easily have been plucked from another language, giving it international appeal. (In Hawaiian, the name of the same spelling means “spirit;” in Italian, Manna is “windfall”).
Miki: A cute nature name meaning “flower stem,” this is a precious pick if you have a Michelle or Michael to name your baby girl after.
Nara: Nara is a “flower from heaven,” giving a profound quality to this floral baby name for girls.
Niko: There are feminine and masculine interpretations to this pretty Japanese name; most often it is used for girls with the meaning “benevolence” or a gem-like quality from the amber stone.
Risa: This Japanese baby name for girls has a very specific meaning—“growing flowers at home”—and manages to sound contemporary and whimsical at once.
Sakura: A popular Japanese baby name for girls; the sakura is the cherry blossom, making this happy, pink floral name especially apt for a little one born in spring.
Sara: Spelled like the English version, but pronounced sah-rah; the widely interpreted meaning is “happiness” and “music;” or “purity, soul.”
Shikako: A soft and flowing name with roots in nature—“deer child”— it’s an elegant choice for your little girl.
Takara: A Japanese word name translating to “treasure;” this unique Japanese baby name is rising in popularity with young parents.
Yukina: The glittering girls’ name translates to “fortune” and “endure,” for a long and lucky life.
Japanese Baby Names for Boys
Akio: It’s a bold Japanese name for boys meaning “bright man,” “bold,” or “hero;” a gorgeous pick for a new baby son.
Asahi: The name meaning “morning sun” imparts hope and a warm glow on your little guy.
Benjira: Names with crossover status always appeal, and this Benjamin-like pick delivers, translating roughly to “one who enjoys peace.”
Daiki: This cool Japanese baby name means “big” and “shining,” making it a bold choice for your little boy.
Haruki: The Japanese boys’ name means “shining brightly” or “spring child,” and lends easily to Haru or Ruki as nicknames.
Hiro: Thanks to its close resemblance to the English word “hero,” this boys’ name scores extra cool points; in Japanese it means “broad” or “widespread.” A longer form of the name, Hiroshi, is currently the second most popular boy name in Japan.
Hisashi: A storied name for baby boys, with a meaning built by its two parts; hisa is a long life and shi is a chronicle or history; together it creates the unified meaning “consistency.”
Hotaru: Translating to “firefly,” it’s a whimsical boy name we can’t help but adore.
Ichiro: If he’s the “first born child,” as the meaning of the name implies, this popular Japanese baby name is the perfect pick for your bouncing boy. (And this name has special meaning for early-aughts Seattle Mariners fans, as it's also the first name of the record-holding baseball player!)
Izumi: Like a lot of the best Japanese baby names, this one’s meaning stems from nature. Izumi means “spring” and represents lightness and renewal for a son born at any time of year.
Katsumi: The poetic-sounding baby boy name translates to “win over the sea.”
Kazue: It means “single blessing,” and is a darling choice for the biggest blessing in your life.
Kenji: Japan’s most popular boy name holds power and tradition as a long-standing favorite. Kenji means “to be in good health,” and is a popular pick for the youngest in the family.
Kiyoshi: Evocative of peace, Kiyoshi is a Japanese baby boy name with many meanings including “bright,” “pure,” and “soundless.”
Koji: It means “little one,” making it a super-cute choice for a baby brother.
Kosuke: A gorgeous and hopeful baby boy name meaning “rising sun.”
Masashi: A strong sound and powerful translations — “ambition, commander” — make this Japanese boy name a definite winner.
Naoki: This strong Japanese baby nature name for boys means “tree of truth.”
Natsuo: A very cool name for a little boy who can easily be nicknamed “Nate,” this bright and unique Japanese baby name means “birth of summer.”
Seiichi: Such a sweet message to impart on a little boy, Seiichi means “one who is sincere.”
Sora: This Japanese nature name meaning “sky” is technicallygender-neutral but more frequently given to boys.
Tadashi: A cool-sounding Japanese boys’ name with ancient roots; Tadashi has multiple meanings including “loyal, faithful” and “correct, accurate.” Sounds like a boy with this name will grow up to be a great guy!
Tatsuo: Meaning, “masculine dragon,” it’s a powerful Japanese boys’ name that he’ll love growing into.
Tetsu: Like a lot of Japanese baby boy names, this one is loaded with strength. Its meanings include “philosophy,” “iron,” and “thoroughness.” Plus, it has a cute sound to it and easily transitions into “Tet” for a one-of-a-kind nickname.
Tomo: With a name so innately studious—Tomo means “intelligent, wisdom, knowledge”—how could your little one not grow into a smart young man? For a fun bonus this Japanese baby name also translates to “twin,” which makes it a spot-on choice for the boy in a set of boy-girl twins. (Peep more twin baby names!)
Toshiro: This Japanese baby boy name means talented or intelligent, and has gained popularity in recent years thanks to a beloved anime character Toshiro Hitsugaya.
Yamato: A meaningful name for a young boy whose parents are paying tribute to Japanese roots, Yamato means “Old Japan.”
Yoshi: May you have many peaceful nights at home with a new baby boy who honors his adorable name’s meaning...“silent or quiet.”
Yukio: A delightful-sounding Japanese name for boys with a meaning that’s equally blissful: Yukio means “happy or fortunate boy.”
Gender-Neutral Japanese Baby Names
There is some crossover in recent decades with traditionally masculine Japanese baby names being considered for little girls. However, here are some unilaterally gender-neutral options to consider for your Japanese-named baby.
Aki: It’s a short, pretty Japanese name for boys or girls meaning “bright, autumn.”
Jun: Traditionally a masculine name, it’s now experiencing some gender fluidity. With meanings “genuine/pure,” “fluid,” and “handsome” for a boy, we also love the summery feel in its similarity to English-language name June.
Kaede: At a time when nature names are popular the world over, you might consider this strong Japanese moniker translating to “maple tree” for your little sapling.
Kin: A one-syllable cool-kid Japanese name that means “gold.” Kin works seamlessly as a middle name, too.
Masa: Thisgender-neutral Japanese baby name means “just, true,” giving it a sentiment as lovely as its sound.
Mayumi: Multiple kanji spellings mean lots of meanings for this gender-neutral name. It can translate to “truth,” “reason,” “bow,” “spindle tree,” or “beauty.” For a little girl, you can use spring-like English nickname May, a pretty compromise for the multicultural family.
Minato: A beautiful gender-neutral Japanese name translating to “harbor,” it’s perfect for water lovers or a little one born in summer.
Ren: With a sound like the girls’ name Wren (a name that’s been picking up steam), the Japanese version isgender-neutral and means “lotus, love."
Rin: A chart-topper translating to “dignified” or “companion,” this is currently Japan's most popular girl name, but can also be given to a little boy.
Seiko: There’s no doubt your baby will be a “force” to be reckoned with thanks to this powerful, energetic baby name for boys or girls.
Final Thoughts on Japanese Baby Names
Clearly, there’s no shortage of lovely-sounding, deeply meaningful Japanese baby names. However, Japan isn’t your only source of inspiration...for more great baby name options, take a look atall of our other favorite baby names from A to Z, including:
- Spanish Baby Names
- Italian Baby Names
- British Baby Names
- Irish Baby Names
- Southern Baby Names
- Old-Fashioned Baby Names
Picking the perfect baby name is one of the most crucial items on your pre-baby to-do list...but so is picking out the perfect baby bed. Find out what makes SNOO Smart Sleeper the safest, smartest baby bassinet...and learn more about how SNOO adds hours of sleep for babies—and their tired parents—every night!
About Jenny Studenroth Gerson
Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.
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What were popular 70s Japanese names? ›
In 1970s, popular names were: Makoto (honesty, truth), Tsuyoshi (strong, brave), Kenichi (ken – wise, ichi – first), Daisuke (excellent helper). In 1990s, parents most frequently named their children Shota (to fly, abundance), Takuya (development), Kenta (Ken – health, ta – abundance), Tsubasa (wing).What is the rarest Japanese name for a girl? ›
Kiyoko is the rarest name on this list. It roughly translates to “pure child,” but can have different meanings depending on which Kanji characters parents choose.What Japanese name means rare beauty? ›
Hayami: A unique Japanese baby name meaning “rare beauty,” this is a special choice for a little girl.What is the beautiful name in Japanese? ›
Misato is popular Japanese which means “beautiful” or “beautiful knowledge” or “beautiful village”. Miyu can mean both “beautiful moon” or “beautiful connection” and “beautiful kindness”. This innocent Japanese name, Moe refers to feelings of affection.What is the cutest name in Japan? ›
- 1) Himari (陽葵) Meaning: “good hollyhock”
- 2) Hina (陽菜) Meaning: “good vegetables, edible greens”
- 3) Yua (結愛) Meaning: “binding love and affection”
- 4) Sakura (咲良) Meaning: “cherry blossoms”
- 5) Ichika (一千花) Meaning: “one thousand flowers”
- 6) Akari (丹梨) Meaning: “red pear tree”
- 7) Sara (冴咲) ...
- 8) Yui (佑泉)
Before Nihon came into official use, Japan was known as Wa (倭) or Wakoku (倭国). Wa was a name early China used to refer to an ethnic group living in Japan around the time of the Three Kingdoms Period.What was Japan's real name? ›
Historians say the Japanese called their country Yamato in its early history, and they began using Nippon around the seventh century. Nippon and Nihon are used interchangeably as the country's name.What is the royal Japanese name? ›
Naruhito (徳仁, pronounced [naɾɯꜜçi̥to]; born 23 February 1960) is Emperor of Japan. He acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1 May 2019, beginning the Reiwa era, following the abdication of his father, Akihito. He is the 126th monarch according to Japan's traditional order of succession.What Japanese girl name means lucky? ›
Keiko. Keiko is a playful-sounding name with auspicious meaning for any baby: It means "lucky child," "happy child," or "adored one." A super-popular name in Japan over the years, the element ko means "child," and happens to be a common ending for female names.What Japanese girl name means butterfly? ›
Chō. What are some rare Japanese girl names? Though there are many, one unique choice is Chō, a beautiful option meaning “butterfly” and pronounced CHO.
What Japanese name means pure? ›
This Japanese boy's name means “pure.”
Namie means “blessing” in Japanese.What Japanese name means princess? ›
Hime (姫) is the Japanese word for princess or a lady of higher birth. Daughters of a monarch are actually referred to by other terms, e.g. Ōjo (王女), literally king's daughter, even though Hime can be used to address Ōjo.What is a cute Japanese girl name? ›
Some cute Japanese names for girls include Akiko, Yui, Rina, and Sakura. These names are often associated with positive traits such as beauty and innocence. Other cute names with kanji meaning 'flower' are also popular such as Hana, Yuki, and Sakura.What are pink names in Japanese? ›
Pink is another color whose most commonly used name in modern Japan might feel pretty familiar to English speakers – pinku, written in katakana to denote a loanword. The traditional Japanese name for it is momo or momoiro (桃色, ももいろ), but that's less commonly used.What Japanese girl name means love? ›
Aiko. Aiko means love, affection, and child. Aiko was a trendy Japanese girls' name at the beginning of the 20th century.What is a unique name for a girl? ›
- Annalise. A combination of the name Anna and Lise, this name is simple, pretty, and unique.
- Brigitta. ...
- Charmaine. ...
- Constance. ...
- Geneviève. ...
- Larisa. ...
- Lorelei. ...
Names for Boys that Mean Power
These powerful boy names have strength in their very definition: Alistair is an old-fashioned but unique option that means “man's defender.” Ethan is a classic name that means “strong and firm.” Maximus or Maximo both sound regal and are a Latin word for “greatest.”
Gou is a japanese name which means a person who is stron and powerful just like a mountain. Jobon is a male name of Japanese origin and means The one who enjoys cleanliness.What is Japan's nickname? ›
Nihon and Japan originate from the same word, each translating to "sun origin." As such, the country has also earned the nickname "Land of the Rising Sun." The nickname dates back to the days of western expansion, when Marco Polo learned of the wonders of this island nation through traders in Southern China.
What was Tokyo's old name? ›
The history of the city of Tokyo stretches back some 400 years. Originally named Edo, the city started to flourish after Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Tokugawa Shogunate here in 1603.What is the most common Japanese name? ›
The top name for girls was 陽葵 (Himari, Hinata, or Hina), which calls to mind cheerful associations with the sun and sunflowers (向日葵; himawari). Two names shared the number one position for boys: 蒼 (Aoi, Sō, or Ao) and 凪 (Nagi or Nagisa), the latter rising from forty-fifth to top the ranking for the first time ever.Why is Japan's flag a red dot? ›
Japan flags display a red circle on a white field. The circle represents the sun as it rises in the sky, which has been a symbol of Japan for hundreds of years. The rising sun also represents the potential for improvement in the nation of Japan and the world as a whole.How old is Japan? ›
Japan has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic period (30,000 BC), though the first written mention of the archipelago appears in a Chinese chronicle (the Book of Han) finished in the 2nd century AD.What religion is in Japan? ›
The Japanese religious tradition is made up of several major components, including Shinto, Japan's earliest religion, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Christianity has been only a minor movement in Japan.What is name Japanese queen? ›
The Empress of Japan is the title given to the wife of the Emperor of Japan or a female ruler in her own right. In Japanese, the empress consort is called Kōgō (皇后). The current empress consort is Empress Masako, who ascended the throne with her husband on 1 May 2019.What are some rare Japanese names? ›
Japanese naming conventions arrange names as follows: [FAMILY NAME] [given name]. For example, YAMAMOTO Yukio (male) and SATŌ Akari (female). The family name (known as 'myouji' or 'ue no namae') is inherited patrilineally from one's father and shared with other siblings. It always comes before the given name.What Japanese name means fairy? ›
Yōsei (Japanese: 妖精, lit. "bewitching spirit") is a Japanese word that is generally synonymous with the English term fairy (フェアリー). Today, this word usually refers to spirits from Western legends, but occasionally it may also denote a creature from native Japanese folklore.What Japanese girl names mean miracle? ›
Sachi is Japanese in origin and is often the short form of Sachiko. This bold name means "miracle."
What Japanese girl name means Lily? ›
|Meaning||Usually "small lily" is the most commonly used Kanji.|
|Region of origin||Japan|
Hoshi or Hosi/Hoshni (星) is the Japanese word for "Star", and the Japanese word for a Buddhist "Priest" &/or "Monk" (僧, 法師 and 比丘).What name means sunshine for a girl in Japanese? ›
Himari. This Japanese baby girl name means 'home of love and light,' 'hollyhock,' and 'sunshine. 'What Japanese name means loyal? ›
Tadashi: A cool-sounding Japanese boys' name with ancient roots; Tadashi has multiple meanings including “loyal, faithful” and “correct, accurate.” Sounds like a boy with this name will grow up to be a great guy!What is bright in Japanese name? ›
明Bright. The state of being illuminated by light and seeing clearly.How do you call a sweet name in Japanese? ›
Daarin is the best way to say 'my darling' in Japanese. Since the Japanese language doesn't really have any native terms of endearment, they have borrowed this from English! Daarin is a gender-neutral term of endearment, so both boyfriends and girlfriends can call each other this way.
Atsuo: Meaning “kindness”.What Japanese name means eternity? ›
-Hisa (寿) – Hisa is a charming Japanese name, usually considered feminine, which is said to mean “eternal” or “long time”. Kanji can be written in different ways, and other associated meanings include “morning princess,” “sun flower,” or even “colorful light,” among other things.What is rainbow child in Japanese? ›
Description: Etsuko can also mean a “child of the rainbow” or “a blessed child.”What Japanese name means soul? ›
Name: miyu Katakana: ミユ
What Japanese girl name means pretty? ›
Akemi. Pretty and cute, the Japanese girls' name Akemi, pronounced A-KEH-MEE, means “beautiful” and “bright.”What is the Japanese name for Princess? ›
Hime (姫) is the Japanese word for princess or a lady of higher birth. Daughters of a monarch are actually referred to by other terms, e.g. Ōjo (王女), literally king's daughter, even though Hime can be used to address Ōjo.What Japanese girl names mean butterfly? ›
What Japanese name means butterfly? Chouka is a Japanese name that means butterfly and is used for boys and girls. Other Japanese names for girls that also mean butterfly are Cho and Kocho.What Japanese name means true beauty? ›
Mayumi. Mayumi is a sonorous name that means "truth and beauty" – ma means "real" or "genuine," yu means "reason," and mi means "beauty." In other kanji iterations, this name can mean "true bow," possibly making it a bull's-eye for some baby-name hunters.Who is queen of Japan? ›
Masako (雅子, born Masako Owada (小和田雅子, Owada Masako); 9 December 1963) is the empress of Japan (皇后, kōgō) as the consort of Emperor Naruhito, who ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne in 2019.What is magical girl in Japanese? ›
Magical girl (Japanese: 魔法少女, Hepburn: mahō shōjo) is a subgenre of Japanese fantasy media (including anime, manga, light novels, and live-action media) centered around young girls who possess magical abilities, which they typically use through an ideal alter ego into which they can transform.Which Disney princess is Japanese? ›
Japanese mermaid (ningyo).What is the #1 name in the world? ›
This name means “strong.”