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Japanese Boys' Names

 
Most Popular
Japanese Boys' Names
1994–2003
  Daichi
Daiki
Daisuke
Jun
Kaito
Kazuki
Kazuya
Kenta
Kouhei
Naoki
Naoto
Ren
Riku
Ryouta
Ryuu
Shou
Shouhei
Shouta
Souta
Takahiro
Takumi
Takuya
Tatsuya
Tsubasa
Yuu
Yuudai
Yuuta
Yuuto
  Taken from Japanese Baby
Names and Meanings
.

Until this list is finished, please take it with a grain of salt. Japanese boys' name lists are larded with names of historical and literary figures whose names are dead and gone. (Japanese names, unlike European names, are not evergreen; after a few generations, most names are as outdated as Hermenegart or Caradoc.) I've grayed out questionable names until I can verify that they're still in use.

If there are multiple variations on a name, they're listed under their plain form or their -o form.

Birth Order Names

Until a generation or two ago, the most popular class of boys' names were birth order names: Taro (first), Jiro (second), Saburo (third), Shiro (fourth), Goro (fifth). Taro got so much play that it's a generic suffix for "boy" now. All of these names are now far, far out of style, though you might see them used as suffixes.


Suffixes

-dai, "big"
-e, "bay"
-goro, "fifth son"
-hei, "peace"
-hiro, "wise"
-jiro, "second son"
-ki, "tree"
-ko, "child"
-o, "generation"
-maru, "valuable" (formerly a popular suffix for samurai boys' childhood names)
-masa
-ro
-shiro, "fourth son"
-suke, "help"
-ta, "great," or sometimes "well built" (probably refers to solidity and permanence rather than a six-pack)
-taro, "first son," or simply "boy"
-to, "person"
-ya
-yoshi

Name

Meaning, Alternate Names
Akako Red
Akemi Beauty of dawn
Akihiko Bright
Akio Bright
Akito
Akira Bright, or intelligent
Bakin  
Bakusui  
Basho  
Bishamon  
Bokusui  
Bokuyo  
Botan Peony, the flower of June; symbol of long life
Chika Near, close
Chikaaki, Chikafusa
Chikamasa Close, good
Chikao Clever, wise
Chishin  
Chitose Thousand years
Chokichi Long-lasting good luck
Dai Great
Daichi Great + land
Daigoro Great fifth son
Daijiro Great second son
Daiki Great + tree/shining/valuable
Daishiro Great fourth son
Daisuke Great help
Daitaro Great first son
Den Bequest from ancestors
Denbei, Denji (nickname)
Dengyo  
Denjiro Good ancestors
Doami  
Doho  
Doni  
Eiichi  
Eiji  
Fuyu Winter
Gen Spring or source
Genjiro
Gendo  
Genji  
Genkei Source of reverence
Genkichi Fortunate source
Genku  
Genmei  
Ginjiro Silver + second son
Gohachiro Five-eight male, i.e., thirteenth son
Gokomatsu  
Goro Fifth son
Hachiuma Eight horses
Hajin  
Hama Shore
Haro Wild boar's first son
Haru Born in spring
Haruakira, Haruchika, Harue, Harujiro
Haruka Tranquil
Hideaki Wisdom, cleverness
Hideo Excellent
Hideki
Hiro  
Hiromasa Broad-minded, just
Hiroshi Generous
Hisao  
Hisayuki  
Hisoka Secretive, reserved
Hitoshi  
Hiyoshi  
Hoshu Conservative
Ichiro First son
Ietaka  
Ike  
Iku Nourishing
Isamu Rock
Isas Meritorious
Ishi Stone
Ishio
Isoroku Fifty-six
Izumi  
Jien  
Jiro Second son
Jo God will increase
Joji Farmer
Jun Obedient, purity
Junichi Junichiro
Kaito Sea + Big Dipper
Kamenosuke Turtle's helper
Kane Golden or accomplished
Kanji Tin
Katsutoshi To win cleverly
Kazu Peace
Kazuhiro, Kazuki, Kazuo, Kazuya
Ken The same
Ken'ichi  
Kenji Second son
Kenta  
Kenzo  
Kin Golden
Kinjiro, Kinshiro, Kintaro
Kiosho Clear, bright
Kita  
Kiyoshi Quiet
Kobo  
Koichi  
Koji Child, little. Very popular in the past couple of generations.
Koki  
Kouhei Peace + calm
Kumakichi Fortunate bear
Kunihiko  
Makoto Sincerity
Mamoru Protect
Mamosuke
Manabu  
Masa Righteous
Masahiro, Masajiro, Masao, Masataro
Masajun Good + obedient
Masashi  
Masato Justice
Masayoshi  
Minoru  
Nagataka Everlasting filial duty
Naoko Straight, honest
Naoki, Naoto, Naoya
Noboru  
Nobu Nobusuke
Ogano Little deer field
Osamu  
Ozuru Big stork
Raiden Name of the thunder god
Ren Correct
Rikio  
Riku Land
Ringo Apple
Ryouichi  
Ryouta  
Ryunosuke  
Ryuu Dragon
Saburo Third son
Samuru Possibly the English name "Samuel"
Satoru  
Seichi  
Seiji  
Sen  
Shigeru  
Shin Faithful
Shinjiro, Shinshiro
Shinakio Faithful + bright
Shiro Fourth son
Shou Soar
Shouji, Shouta
Shouhei Soar + calm
Shunshi  
Shunsuke  
Shuzo Third son
Souta  
Susumu  
Tadashi Correct
Tahara  
Taizo Third son
Takahiro Valuable
Takashi  
Takehiro  
Takeshi Unbending like a bamboo tree
Takumi Pioneer
Takuya
Tani Valley
Taro First son
Tasou  
Tatsuru  
Tatsuya Tatsuhiro, Tatsuro
Tetsuo Tetsuya
Tobikuma Flying cloud
Tokujiro Virtuous second son
Tokutaro Virtuous first son
Tomi Rich
Torao Tiger
Toshihiro Intelligent + wise
Toshio Year of plenty
Toshi
Toyohisa  
Tsubasa Wing
Tsutomu  
Umi Ocean
Yasahiro Peaceful, calm, wise
Yaso Eight-ten. The word for "nine" sounds like the word for "suffering," so this name means that suffering should skip the child the way the child's name skips suffering. Explanation from Languagehat.com.
Yasuo Tranquility
Yasuhiro, Yasunari
Yemon Guarding the gate
Yokichi  
Yoshi Quiet, tranquil
Yoshio
Yoshihara  
Yoshihisa  
Yoshikazu  
Youji  
Yukio Snow boy; implies that he gets or goes his own way
Yukiko
Yutaka  
Yuu Superior, gentle
Yuuta, Yuuto, Yuusuke (but not the Yuusuke of Poltergeist Report! That Yuusuke is spelled with the "yuu" that means "eerie.")
Yuudai Hero + great
Zen Just
Zenjiro, Zenshiro, Zentaro
Zoami  
Zoki  
Zuisho  

< Back to RPGs  |  < Back to Japan   |  On to Japanese Girls' Names >

Trends in Japanese Baby Names - Also includes a comprehensive list of names.

Japanese Name Gender Finder - A loooooong list of girls', boys' and family names.

Japanese Names - A short list of boys' and girls' names with meanings and kanji.

Common Japanese Names - A list of common first and last names with alternate spellings in kanji.

Japanese name @ Wikipedia - The history and structure of Japanese names.

New options raise the stakes in the "Name that Baby" game - A Japan Times article about the addition of new kanji to the jinmei kanji, the list of kanji permitted for use in names.

For more names, or for kanji spellings, go to the Japanese <-> English Dictionary Server. You may have a hard time picking out the spelling that corresponds to the name's meaning because the Japanese play a sort of literary game with names. Any kanji whose reading fits the sound of the name can be substituted for the original kanji, with extra points given for piquant new meanings. For example, Shishiwakamaru, the bloodthirsty swordsman of Yu Yu Hakusho, is named shishi (lion), waka (young), -maru (a common suffix for samurai boys' names). However, Shishi is written not with the "lion" kanji, but with a doubled kanji that means "death" (shi), so his name appears to mean "death-death-young-maru." Native speakers know that "death-death" is a kanji pun for "lion."

Therefore, when you go to the dictionary server, you'll find that many names have several, even dozens of, spellings. If you can't figure out which combination of kanji is the name's original meaning, just pick the prettiest and go with it.

 

 
 
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