10 Japanese Common Names For Boys

10 Japanese Common Names For Boys

It is embarrassing not to be able to remember someone’s name. It’s hard to remember people’s name in different languages. Japanese names are also very different from most of Western names in fact. We, Japanese, can easily remember others’ name because we are familiar with names commonly used in Japan. I will show you 10 common names for boys in Japan. If you remember those 10 names, you would have less hard time remembering people’s name in Japan. In the list, I have included few most common names and other names that are popular in recent years. I have also included some names that are used for both boys and girls.



 

10 Japanese Common Names For Boys

 

1. Hiroshi

‘Hiroshi’ is the most commonly used name in Japan. It has been ranked as the most popular name to give for boys from 1920 to 1970. This name represents the good old Showa period. According to the research done by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company, it’s the most common name in several generations. That means there is a high probability that you will see at least one ‘Hiroshi’ when you are in Japan.

 

2. Takashi

This is also a strongly common name for boys in Japan. Like Hiroshi, this name has been very popular during the Showa period. That means many men of older generations are more likely to have this name. Many celebrities have this name, such as a famous actor Takashi Sorimachi. In recent years, however, this name is considered old school and uncool. Not many parents choose to use this name anymore.

 

3. Akira

Another very common name for boys in Japan is ‘Akira.’ This is also one of the most popular names in many generations. If you like Japanese culture, you must have heard of this name. The great movie director was names Akira Kurosawa. There is also a worldly famous manga called ‘Akira.’ The manga and its anime were diffused in many countries outside of Japan.Although not many people name their kid ‘Akira’ anymore, this name has recently been used for girls. But the fact is, it used to a common boy’s name for a long time.

 

4. Makoto

The name ‘Makoto’ was ranked at the first place for the most popular name during the 1970s. This means that it was the popular name for boys during the period of economic growth in Japan. In fact, people started to appreciate this name from the apparition of manga called “Ai to Makoto” in 1973. It must have triggered it popularity in 1970s.Makoto is written with one kanji ‘誠’. It was indeed the period in which naming boys with one letter kanji was very popular. This kanji means ‘truth’ or ‘sincerity.’ You can see how parents wished their children to be sincere and truthful by naming them with this name.

 

5. Daisuke

The name ‘Daisuke’ was ranked as most popular name during the 1980s. The popularity was probably triggered by a great success of baseball player called Daisuke Araki. Daisuke is written ‘大輔’ with 2 letter kanji. This name appeared during the period in which two letter names became popular.You must be able to find many men called ‘Daisuke’ who were born in these years. In fact, there is another great baseball player called Daisuke Matsuzaka, born in 1980, who has played for the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets.

 

 

6. Shou

This name was nominated as most popular name in the year 2000. This name appeared in 1980. Since then it has been popular for almost 30 years. It is said that this name was appreciated by the beauty of how it was written in kanji ‘翔.’ This kanji have never been used for names before. But in 1975, a Japanese historical novelist Ryotaro Shiba has written a book called “Tobu ga gotoku” with ‘tobu’ (which means fly) written ‘翔ぶ.’ It was, in fact, very rare to use this kanji for the word “fly.” As a result, people find it refreshing to use it for a name.On top of that, this kanji stays still popular in Japanese boys’ names even now.

 

7. Yuma

The name ‘Yuma’ was ranked as the most popular name in the year 2013. In recent years, the name with contains ‘Yu’ has been quite popular for naming boys. It is also very popular to choose the names that finishes with ‘to,’ ‘ki’ and ‘ma.’ That makes this name a truly fashionable name right now.This name ‘Yuma’ sounds soft and gentle. Many parents wish for their children to be kind when they name them with this name.

 

8. Ren

The name ‘Ren’ was chosen the most popular name in 2014. Japanese people started to use this name for boys in 1999. The name is usually written ‘蓮’ which means lotus flower. Since lotus flower grow in dirt, blooming beautifully, many parents wish their children to grow strongly and beautifully in a difficult and harsh world.Although this name is sometimes used for girls, it’s more commonly used for boys in Japan. Many Western people find that this name sounds more like a girl’s name since it’s a name of a flower. In Japan, however, the same kanji can be used for girls by adding another kanji, like in ‘Renka.’

 

9. Haruto

This name was nominated the most popular in 2015. In the past, Japanese people used to choose name by the meaning of Kanji. The names usually had one standard pronunciation too. In recent years, however, these tendencies started to change. Many parents choose the sound of names they like first, then choose Kanji which fit the sound. Therefore, many people choose to name their boy ‘Haruto’ but it might be written with different Kanji, such as ‘大翔’ or ‘陽翔’ etc. To make things even more complicated, these same Kanji ‘大翔’ can be read differently. These Kanji can be read Hiroto, Yamato, Sora, etc.

 

10. Haru

As you can see, the name ‘Haruto’ is the most popular name for boys this year. In fact, the name that contains ‘Haru’ is in fashion right now in Japan. The name ‘Haru’ was ranked in the fifth place in 2015. It is also a name that can be used for girls as well. It is also a recent tendency to use the names, which were common for girls, for boys. This name is one of the example that girls’ name is employed for boys.

 

Conclusion

Those are 10 names that you can learn to better remember Japanese names for boys. Just like in any country, each generation has its tendencies and popularity. Here I have shown several names that were popular in different generations. Although there are so many other names for boys in Japan, remembering those 10 names can help you familiarize with them.

 

10 Japanese Common Names For Boys

1. Hiroshi
2. Takashi
3. Akira
4. Makoto
5. Daisuke
6. Shou
7. Yuma
8. Ren
9. Haruto
10. Haru