Japanese Name – How do they name their children?–Yumiko Aiba

Feb , 2017

In any country, a name may be one of the important elements of your personality. A name not only represents your identification, but sometimes affects the impression of your character. In Japan, too. Moreover, giving a name in Japanese might be more complicated than in any other language.

You have already known that we use three different writing systems. So some names are written in Hiragana, some in Katakana, some in Kanji and some in mixed characters such as キヨ子 (Kiyoko : Katakana and Kanji).

When we name a child in Kanji, we have to consider the meanings that each Kanji has. Because many Kanji have the same sounds but each of them has different meanings. For instance, there are so many ways to write my name “Yumiko” in Kanji, such as “弓子”, “佑実子”, “祐未子” and more. However, the meanings are really different from each other.Talking about my name, Yumiko is “由美子” in Kanji. My parents gave this name with their hope that I would grow up in a relaxed environment and be beautiful inside.

Some names use the same Kanji as the one in their parent’s name.

Also, naming trends are sometimes influenced by the entertainment industry. Parents may choose the same name as a famous actor or actress. Also they may choose the same name as a singer or even a popular game character.

However, some Kanji have been always popular among parents. For instance, “心” (kokoro) means Heart and “愛” (ai) means Love.

Recently, parents tend to give their child a really unique and uncommon name. We call this kind of name “Kira kira neemu” (キラキラネーム/ literally means ‘sparkly name’).

For instance, parents give a name “心” to their child and they call it “ハート” (Haato : Japanese pronunciation of Heart). Also when it comes to a name “心愛”, they call it “kokoa” (ここあ). Yes, its pronunciation is same as cocoa in English. Each Kanji doesn’t have anything to do with cocoa, though.

There are a lot of other kira kira name in Japan. And some are really difficult to guess their pronunciations.

Here are more examples of kira kira name below.
・騎士(ないと: Naito) means knight.
・光宙(ぴかちゅう: Pikatyuu) means one of the popular characters in Pokemon.
・三二一(みにー: Minii) means Minnie Mouse.
・宝冠(てぃあら: Tiara) means tiara.

Still the meanings of each Kanji are important. But it seems people give more priority to differentiate their child from others by the name sounds than by the real meanings of Kanji.

Do you have any kira kira name in Australia?