Most Popular Girls & Boys Japanese Names

Let's look at the most popular Japanese girls and boys baby names in 2015 and continuing into 2016. Each list contains the top 11 female and male names along with the top kanji spellings and meanings for each name.

This year marks the growing trend of kira-kira names or "sparkly twinkle names."

Kirakira names come in two forms. The first is having similar-sounding common names but spelled with obscure and unintelligible kanji combinations. A single kanji can have multiple meanings, so when paired with another kanji, you can have up to dozens of different readings.

The western equivalent would be something like Jacob, Jacobb, Jaccob, Jakob, Jacub, Jakab, Jaicob, Jaycob, Jeycob, etc.

The second would be naming your child using the phonetic sounds of kanji and disregarding its meaning. This allows for bending Kanji into Western or unique character names. For example, 光宙 literally means "light" and "space." However, for one parent, it reads... Pikachu.

Yes, someone did name their child Pikachu.

This year's list is mostly traditional-sounding recognizable names but plenty spelled with unconventional kanji usage. Some of which does come off pretty cool: "Hello my name is Ten Thousand Swords." 

[Editor's Note: The literal translations of the names are of one interpretation and have been fact-checked by two Japanese sources. Because every kanji carries multiple meanings, our sources were asked to do their best guesswork for the intended meanings.]

Most Popular Japanese Boys Names 

1. Haruto (はると):

一温: Best Warmth

優音: Tender Sound

大翔: Great Flight

大透: To Be Crystal Clear

天翔: Soar to Heavens

 

2. Riku (りく):

俐空: Wise Sky

俐虎: Clever Tiger

凉空: Nice, Cool Sky

凌久: Endure a Long Time

凌功: Excel in Success

 

3. Haru (はる):

和晴: Peaceful clear Weather 

悠琉: Eternal Treasure 

悠類: Easy-going Type

春月: Spring Moon

春流: Flowing Springtime

 

4. Hinata (ひなた):

一陽: Best Sunlight

優陽: Superior Light

光暖: Ray of Warmth 

向日: Sunny Place

 

5. Kaito (かいと):

介人: Supportive Person

介斗: The Most Supportive

介 杜: Between Pear Trees

介渡:  Going Through And Beyond

介登: Growing Through Climbing Up

 

6. Asahi (あさひ):

光皐陽: Ray of Light on The Shore

旦燈: Daybreak Rising

旦陽: Morning Sunshine

旭大: Big Rising Sun

昇冴: Bright Rising

 

7. Sora (そら):

優空: Superior Air

双嵐: Set of Storms

壮良: Skilled Man

夏空: Summer Sky

大空: Big Sky

空: Sky 

宇宙: Universe 

 

8. Reo (れお):

伶央: Wise Center

伶音: Wise Sound

嶺臣: At the Summit of the Mountain

怜和: Wise Harmony 

怜士: Wise Gentlemen

礼央: Centered Politeness

 

9. Yuuto (ゆうと):

佑人: Person who Helps

佑和: Helping Harmony 

佑斗: The Most Helpful 

佑篤: Helping Humanitarian

佑翔: Help & Soar

優斗: Person with Tender Heart 

勇人: Brave Man

優澄: Kind & Shining Bright 

 

10. Touma (とうま):

上 山: Top of The Mountain

冬摩: Winter Grind

冬真: Winter Truth 

冬舞: Winter Dance

刀 万 Ten Thousand Swords

刀満: Sword of Satisfaction 

斗真: A Cup of Truth

 

11. Itsuki (いつき):

一來: Go My Way

一喜: One & Only Happiness

一基: Embracing Essence

一己: Independence

一希: One & Only Hope

樹: Magnificent Mountain

 

Most Popular Japanese Girls Names 

1. Hana (はな):

一愛: One Love

初凪: Beginning Calm

初南: First South

初名: First Name

初夏: Early Summer

 

2. Himari (ひまり):

久茉莉: Long Jasmine 

仁葵: Benevolent Sunflower 

光愛里: Home of Light & Love 

光鞠: Ball of Light 

向日葵: Sunflower

 

3. Akari (あかり):

丹凛: Red Cold 

丹凜: Red Cold 

丹利: Red Profit 

丹李: Red Plum 

丹梨: Red Pear Tree

 

4. Ichika (いちか):

一伽: Best Entertainer 

一佳: Best & Excellent  

一凛: Number One Cold 

一加: First at Increasing 

一千花: One Thousand Flowers

 

5. Sara (さら):

佐楽: Comforting Music 

佐羅: Roman Aid 

倖良: Good Fortune 

冴咲: Vivid Blossom 

冴愛: Clear Love

 

6. Yui (ゆい):

佑伊: Italian Aid 

佑依: Reliant Help 

佑唯: Solely Helpful  

佑泉: Helpful Fountain  

佑生: Helpful Life

 

7. Aoi (あおい):

亜乙依: Strange Dependence  

亜奥以: Beyond the Inside

亜捺惟: Seal of Reflection 

亜桜依: Reliance on the Cherry Blossoms 

亜生衣: Clothes of Life 

 

8. Niko (にこ):

丹子: Red Child 

丹瑚: Red Offering 

二子: Second Child

二心: Two Hearts 

二湖: Two Lakes

 

9. Hinata (ひなた):

一陽: One Sunshine 

光永: Ray of Eternity 

光菜汰: Selection of the Best Vegetables 

向日葵: Sunflower 

向葵: Sunflower

 

10. Kanna (かんな):

乾奈: Emperor of Nara 

佳奈: Beautiful Nara 

佳音那: What Excellent Sound 

侃凪: Strong Calm 

侃南: Righteous South

 

11. Sana (さな):

三七 : Three-Seven

三凪: Three Calm

三愛: Three Love 

佐凪: Helpful Calm 

佐南: Helpful South

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