Home Life 180 Awesome Japanese Boy Names and Their Meanings

180 Awesome Japanese Boy Names and Their Meanings


When you think of a typical western name (for instance, Andrew) you don’t always get to know what it means. You first have to go through its language of origin and its original meaning. In that case, the name Andrew comes from the Greek Andreas, which means “man” or “manly.” It could take quite a bit of research to know the meaning of a western name.

Japanese names are in a way much simpler because the meaning of the name is right there in the spelling. Japanese names are usually written in kanji, which is a system of Japanese writing using logographic Chinese characters (hanzi). Each kanji has its own meaning, which can then be affected by other kanji written alongside it.

However, the difficulty presents itself when it comes to choosing the right kanji for a name. You see, Japanese names may sound alike and be spelled alike in the Latin alphabet, but they can be written in a multitude of ways in kanji.

For instance, the name Eiji is composed of two kanji characters for ei and ji. The kanji character for ei can mean “prosperity,” “great,” or “next,” and the character of ji can mean “peace” or “eternity.” Therefore Eiji can be written with the characters that correspond to these meanings.

If you’re looking for a great Japanese name for your baby boy, you may want to keep in mind that aside from the western spelling, it should also have a corresponding kanji spelling. In addition to that, there are other considerations you’ll want to think of.

First, many Japanese names are inspired by images from nature such as the four seasons, colors, plants, or natural phenomenon. You may want to choose one of these as the main focus of the name you would like, and just add a common suffix to attach to it. Some common suffixes for Japanese names for boys in are -taka (honorable), -masa (govern), -haru (spring), -nori (belief), or -ki (tree). Contrast this with popular suffixes for girls which include ko (child), mi (beauty), and ka (fragrant).

Second, you may want to pick out a kanji character to serve as the basis for the name you like. Keep in mind that kanji characters can be pronounced in different ways depending on the context. For instance, the kanji character for “tree” is often read as “ki,” but it may also be read as “moku.” The way you wish to pronounce the kanji character depends on you.

Lastly, you may simply like the sound of a name and then assign the corresponding meaning and kanji to it later. There are many Japanese names that sound lovely even to those who are more used to western names. For instance, the name Aki (autumn) is a great name that’s easy to pronounce, even for those not accustomed to Japanese names. Ryuu is another name that fits in well in the western context.

Below we have compiled a list of great Japanese names for boys. It includes the many possible meanings for the name alongside some facts on people who bear the name. Keep in mind that the meaning of a Japanese name depends on the kanji characters used alongside the context.

Akemi means “bright, beauty,” “bright, sea,” “vermillion, beauty,” “vermillion, fruit,” “dawn, beauty,” or “bright fruit.” While a more feminine name, it’s also a great name for boys.

Aki means “autumn,” “bright,” or “sparkle.”

Akihiko means “shining prince”

Akihiro means “shining abroad”

Akio means “bright boy.” A famous bearer of this name is Akio Toyoda, the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation.

Akira Akira is a predominantly male name which means “bright,” “intelligent,” or “clear.” A famous bearer of this name is Akira Kurosawa, a Japanese filmmaker regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in world.

Akiyama means “autumn mountain.” A famous bearer of this name is General Akiyama Yoshifuru, who is considered the father of Japanese Cavalry.

Asahi means “ray of light on the shore,” “daybreak rising,” “morning sunshine,” “rising sun,” or “bright rising.” It’s one of the most popular names for boys in 2015.

Arata means “fresh”

Atsushi means “cordial; industrious”

Banri means “thousand miles”

Chikara means “power,” “capability,” or “influence”

Dai means “beloved and adored one”

Daichi means “great land” or “great wisdom”

Daiki means “of great value ”

Daisuke means “big, help,” “big, mediate,” or “big, law/rule/ceremony”

Eiji means “prosperity, peace,” “great, peace,” or “next, eternity”

Fujita means “field ”

Fumio means “scholarly child”

Goro means “fifth son.” This is the name often given to the fifth son.

Hachiro means “eighth son.” This is the name often given to the eighth son.

Hajime means “beginning,” “origin,” “fundamental,” “first day of the month,” or “great

Haruto means “best warmth,” “tender sound,” “great flight,” “crystal clear,” or “soar to the heavens.” It’s one of the most popular names for boys in 2015.

Haruo means “springtime man”

Hideaki means “shining excellence”

Hideki hide means “esteem, excellence,” or “excellent,” and ko means “tree”

Hideo means “splendid man”

Hikaru means “light; shining”

Hinata means “best sunlight,” “superior light,” “ray of warmth,” or “sunny place.” It’s one of the most popular names for boys in 2015.

Hiro means “abundant,” “generous, tolerant,” or “prosperous.” A famous bearer of this name is Hiro Yamagata, the Japanese artist known for his very detailed and colorful work.

Hiroaki means “widespread brightness”

Hiroki means “abundant joy; strength”

Hiroshi means tolerant, generous” or “prosperous”

Hiroyuki means “good fortune” or “ocean”

Hisao means “long-lived man”

Hisashi means “long time,” “eternal,” “still,” “standard,” “complete,” “long,” “life,” or “long day”

Hisoka means “secretive, reserved”

Hitoshi means “even-tempered; level”

Ichiro means “first son.” It’s a name frequently given to a first-born son.

Isamu means “courageous; warrior”

Isao means “honor; merit”

Itsuki means “go my way,” “one and only happiness,” “embracing essence,” “independence,” “only hope,” or “magnificent mountain.” It’s one of the most popular names for boys in 2015.

Iwao means “stone man”

Izanagi means “mythological deity”

Jiro means “next, son,” “next, melodious,” “second son,” “second, melodious,” or “reign son.” Popular bearers of this name include Jiro (the bassist of Japanese rock band GLAY) and Jiro Ono (a Japanese sushi master who was the subject of the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi).

Joji means “farmer”

Jun means “obedient”

Jun’ichi means “obedience; purity first”

Juro means “tenth son”, “between pear trees,” “going through and beyond,” and “growing through climbing up”

Kaito means “supportive person,”

Katsu means “victory”

Katsuo means “victorious child”

Katsuro means “victorious son.” A famous bearer of this name is Yuji Katsuo a skier who competed in the1972 and 1976 Winter Olympics.

Kazuhiko means “first, harmonious prince”

Kazuhiro means “harmony widespread”

Kazuki means “pleasant peace, shining one,” “harmonious hope,” or “first to shine”

Kazuo means “harmonious man” or “first male”

Keiichi means “respectful first-born son”

Keiji means “respectful second-born son”

Ken means “one’s own mind,” “healthy, strong,” “modest,” or “sturdy.”

Kenichi means “first builder; town’s founder”

Kenji means “intelligent ruler” or “healthy second son”

Kenshin means “modest truth”

Kenta means “healthy, stout”

Kichiro means “lucky son”

Kin means “golden ”

Kioshi means “quiet” or “pure”

Kiyoshi means “pure, saintly; the quiet one”

Kohaku means “amber”

Koichi means “shining prince”

Koji means “happy second-born son” or “light, shining second son”

Kunio means “countryman”

Kuro means “ninth son”

Kyo means “approval,” “apricot,” “capital,” “cooperation,” or “village”

Madoka means “tranquil”

Makoto means “sincerity”

Mamoru means “protect; earth”

Masa means “correct, just,” “elegant,” “flourishing, prosperous,” “genuine,” “govern,” or “military”

Masaaki means “correct brightness”

Masahiro means “govern widely; broad-minded”

Masaki means “correct record; elegant tree”

Masanori means “prosperous government”

Masao means “correct man; righteous”

Masashi means “correct; splendid official”

Masato means “elegant man; justice”

Masayuki means “correct happiness”

Miki means “beautiful chronicle,” “beautiful and noble,” “beautiful tree,” and “beautiful hope”

Minato means “harbor, port”

Minori means “beautiful harbor”

Minoru means “ear of grain; fruitful”

Mitsuo means “shining man; third-born son”

Nao means “honest,” “docile,” or “esteemed”

Naoki means “hones/honest t tree”

Noboru means “ascend; climb; virtuous”

Nobu means “faith,” or “to prolong”

Nobuyuki means “faithful happiness”

Nori means “good son,” “ceremony, regalia,” “code,” “model, rule, standard,” or “law, rule”

Norio means “man of principles”

Osamu means “ruler”

Reo means “wise center,” “wise sound,” “at the summit of the mountain,” “wise gentleman” or “centered politeness”

Riku means “wise sky,” “clever tiger,” “cool sky,” “endurance,” or “excel in success.” It’s one of the most popular names for boys in 2015.

Rokuro means “sixth son”

Ryo means “completion,” “cold,” to burn or illuminate,” “goodness,” “light,” “silk,” “forgiveness,” “dragon,” or “distant.” It’s a very common Japanese name for boys.

Ryoichi means “first son of Ryo ”

Ryota means “stout, strong”

Ryozo means “third son of Ryo ”

Ryuichi means “first son of Ryu ”

Ryuu means “dragon spirit”

Saburo means “third-born son” or “three, bright”

Sadao means “decisive man”

Samuru means “his name is God”

Satoru means “daybreak,” “enlightened,” “fast learner,” “knowledgeable,” “perceptive,” “persuasive,” “understanding,” or “wise”

Satoshi means “enlightened” or “clear-thinking.” A famous bearer of this name is Satoshi Kon a director of numerous anime films.

Seiichi means “correct first-born son”

Seiji means “correct second-born son”

Senichi means “first-born son of Sen ”

Shichiro means “seventh son”

Shigekazu means “first son of Shige ”

Shigeo means “luxuriant man”

Shigeru means “excellent; luxuriant”

Shin means “true,” “extend,” “new,” “heart,” “belief,” “progress,” “humility,” “advance,” or “gentleman.” It’s a very common given name for Japanese males.

Shinichi means “first son of Shin ”

Shinji means “faithful second-born son”

Shiro means “fourth-born son,” “white,” “castle,” or “generation”

Shoichi means “prosperous first-born son”

Shoji means “shining second-born son”

Shuichi means “governing first-born son”

Shuji means “excellent”

Shunichi means “first-born son of Shun”

Sora means “superior air,” “set of storms,” “skilled man,” summer sky,” “big sky,” “sky” or “universe.” It’s one of the most popular names for boys in 2015.

Tadao means “loyal man”

Tadashi means “correct, righteous; loyal”

Takahiro means “widespread nobility”

Takao means “noble man”

Takashi means “estuary, inlet, poem,” “prosperous, noble,” “high, boasting, samurai, gentleman,” “high, steep,” “adore, revere, chronicler,” “filial piety,” or “moral courage, integrity.”

Takayuki means “filial happiness”

Takehiko means “soldier prince”

Takeo means “warrior”

Takeshi means “fierce; warrior”

Takumi means “artisan,” “adroit,” or “skillful”

Taro means “great son” or “eldest son.” This is a name often given to a first-born son.

Tatsuo means “dragon man”

Tatsuya means “possessing wisdom and longevity”

Tetsuya means “philosophy, to be,” “iron, to be,” “philosophy, alas,” “devotion, to be,” “penetrate, arrow,” or “iron, increasingly”

Tomi means “rich, wealthy; red”

Tomio means “treasured man”

Toru means “penetrating; wayfarer”

Toshi means “alert”

Toshiaki means “bright, alert,” “bright, clever,” or “bright, happy”

Toshihiro means “wise”

Toshio means “genius; year of the Boy”

Toshiyuki means “alert and happy”

Touma means “top of the mountain,” “winter grind,” “winter truth,” “winter dance,” “ten thousand swords,” “sword of satisfaction,” or “cup of truth.” It’s one of the most popular names for boys in 2015.

Toyo means “plentiful ”

Tsutomu means “worker”

Tsuyoshi means “strong”

Ueda means “from the rice field” or “rice paddy”

Yasahiro means “peaceful calm; wise”

Yasuhiro means “widespread peace”

Yasuo means “tranquility; peaceful one”

Yasushi means “honest and peaceful”

Yoichi means “masculine first-born son,” “clear, sun, pride, firstborn son,” “ocean, firstborn son,” or “participating, firstborn son”

Yori means “in service of the public”

Yoshi means “good son”

Yoshiaki means “righteous glory”

Yoshihiro means “widespread goodness”

Yoshikazu means “good and harmonious,” “correct quantity,” or “good addition”

Yoshimitsu means “good light”

Yoshinori means “righteous principles”

Yoshio means “good man”

Yoshiro means “good son”

Yoshito means “good man; lucky man”

Yuichi means “friendly first-born son”

Yuji means “courageous second son”

Yuki means “happiness” or “snow”

Yukio means “happy hero” or “hero’s way”

Yuri means “to hear”

Yutaka means “abundant; prosperous”

Yuu means “superior”

Yuuto means “person who helps,” “helping harmony,” “most helpful,” “help and soar,” “one with a tender heart,” “brave man,” or “kind and shining bright.” It’s one of the most popular names for boys in 2015.

Which of these Japanese names for boys do you like the most? Share your favorites with us in the comments below!


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