Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

20 beautiful Japanese baby names taking the world by storm

japan baby names.jpg

From historic castles, ancient temples and tiny rural towns, to bullet trains, ultramodern cities and ridiculously cool technology, Japan is a treasure trove of photogenic wonders.

It’s the country’s natural beauty, though, that continues to enchant and captivate visitors: they travel to Japan from all corners of the world to wander through the country’s forest-covered mountaintops, explore the dramatic coastlines, stare into the ethereal waters of the Shirogane Blue Pond, marvel at the plethora of plum and cherry blossoms, and snap photograph upon photograph of those vivid red maple leaves.

It stands to reason, then, that Japan’s most fashionable baby names are almost entirely rooted in the country’s flora and fauna.

Read more: 70 baby names inspired by feminist icons

Japanese parents have many things to consider when choosing a name for their child: not only does it need to sound nice, but, when it’s written down in kanji characters, the name’s base meaning becomes readily apparent.

From Sakura (which means ‘cherry blossoms’) to Ren (which means ‘lotus’), the Japanese ensure that their monikers are all beautiful, auspicious and deeply meaningful. More notably, though, they’re catching the attention of parents all over the world – many of whom like the fact that they’re not necessarily gender-specific.

In fact, US website nameberry.com has an entire section dedicated to Japanese names, praising them for their “lovely sound, lovely meaning” approach.

A waterfall in Tokyo

A waterfall in Tokyo

A recent study from children’s clothing retailer Tamahiyo analysed the names of 18,029 babies born in Japan last year, pulling out 20 of the most popular. They have grouped them by gender, although it’s worth noting that many of these monikers can be unisex.

Check them out below...

The most popular Japanese baby girl names

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)
Meaning: “vivid blossom”

8) Yui (佑泉)
Meaning: “helpful fountain”

9) Aoi (亜桜依)
Meaning: “reliance on the cherry blossoms”

10) Niko (二湖)
Meaning: “two lakes”

The Japanese red maple leaf

The Japanese red maple leaf

The most popular Japanese baby boy names

1) Ren (蓮)
Meaning: “lotus”

2) Hiroto (大翔)
Meaning: “big flight”

3) Haruto (陽翔)
Meaning: “good flight”

4) Minato (湊)
Meaning: “sheltered harbour”

5) Yuma (悠真)
Meaning: “calm truth”

6) Riku (俐空)
Meaning: “wise sky”

7) Kaito (介 杜)
Meaning: “between pear trees”

8) Asahi (旦陽)
Meaning: “morning sunshine”

9) Sora (夏空)
Meaning: “summer sky”

10) Reo (嶺臣)
Meaning: “at the summit of the mountain”

Read more: The 20 most fashionable Scandinavian names

Of course, if you’d prefer to select a feminist namesake for your baby or pet, we suggest browsing through our list of baby names inspired by feminist icons.

From Virginia to Benedict, vintage nicknames to modern monikers, there is a vast plethora of intriguing names which can be adapted to suit any gender.

Happy choosing.

Images: iStock




36 fashionable Irish baby names taking the world by storm

rosie huntington whiteley jason statham.jpg

The powerful meaning behind Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s baby boy name

beyonce jay z rumi sir carter baby twins.jpg

The story behind Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s trademarked twin baby names


The deadly secret hidden within that creepy Game of Thrones hug

Spoilers are coming…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Why it’s totally fine if you don’t have a ‘work wife’

Having friends at work is nice – but it’s not the be all and end all

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

Meteorologist’s epic response to troll who called her “disgusting”

“Enough is enough.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 Aug 2017

Acts of love, humanity and solidarity following the Barcelona attack

In the darkness, there is light.

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

How you can help those caught up in the Barcelona attack

The ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

People are furious about Trump’s response to the Barcelona attack

The world is sick of his double-standard on terrorism

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017