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Japanese names of characters from “Detective Conan”

Japanese names of characters from “Detective Conan”
Japanese names of characters from “Detective Conan”

Image by: Detective Conan official website ©Gosho Aoyama, Shogakukan Inc,

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What is the story?

Detective Conan is a long-running mystery manga series written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama. The story follows a genius teenager named Shinichi who loves the famous author, Conan Doyle, and his mystery novels. Shinichi is a master detective and has solved many cases just like his favorite, Sherlock Holmes. However, because of his intelligence, an evil and unknown organization tried to kill him with an unknown poison. Luckily, the drug did not kill him but turned him into a little kid. Secretly disguised as a 7-year-old child, Shinichi goes by the name Conan after his favorite author and continues to solve mysteries. Will Shinichi be able to find the black organization that created the boy named Conan?

Image by: Detective Conan comic 1 ©Gosho Aoyama, Shogakukan Inc,

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What is the Japanese title of Detective Conan?

The Japanese title of this thrilling series is ‘名探偵コナン’(Meitantei Konan). ‘Tantei’ (探偵) means detective but if you add a ‘Mei’(名) it means a Great Detective. ‘Conan’(コナン) is the cover name Shinichi uses as a kid.

Image by: Detective Conan official website ©Gosho Aoyama, Shogakukan Inc,

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What are the meanings behind the characters’ names?

In Japanese culture, names have significant meanings that are supposed to represent you as a person. Names can be expressed in hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Let’s find out the meanings of some names of characters in Detective Conan.

Conan Edogawa (江戸川 コナン, Edogawa Konan)/
Shinichi Kudo (工藤 新一, Kudō Shinichi)

Image by: Detective Conan Ep 748 ©Gosho Aoyama, Shogakukan Inc, Yomiuri TV, TMS

First of all, the main character of this exciting series, Conan. His future as a detective was stolen as he was turned into a child. He has the brain of a professional detective and the body of a 7-year-old. ‘E’(江) means big river, ‘Do’(戸) is a door, ‘Gawa’川() means a river, and ‘Conan’(コナン) is written in Katakana because he took the name of his favorite author Conan Doyle which is in English.

Shinichi is Conan’s real name. As a teenager with a sharp brain, his detective life was just starting. However, as you know, his detective career would not continue for long. ‘Ku’(工) is a craft, ‘Do’(藤) is wisteria, ‘Shin’(新) means new and ‘Ichi’(一) is one.

Ran Mouri (毛利 蘭 , Mōri Ran)

Image by: Detective Conan Ep 748 ©Gosho Aoyama, Shogakukan Inc, Yomiuri TV, TMS

Now let’s look into Shinichi’s close childhood friend, Ran. Kind and caring Ran deeply cares for her loved ones, one of them being Shinichi. She doesn’t know that Conan is Shinichi and has decided to wait for him to finish living his dream somewhere by believing that he will come back. ‘Mou’(毛) is hair, ‘Ri’(利) means profit, and ‘Ran’(蘭) is an orchid.

Hiroshi Agasa (阿笠 博士 , Agasa Hiroshi)

Image by: Detective Conan Ep 926 ©Gosho Aoyama, Shogakukan Inc, Yomiuri TV, TMS

Hiroshi is one of the very few people who know that Conan is Shinichi. ‘A’(阿) means shore, ‘Gasa’(笠) is a woven hat, ‘Hiro’(博) is an expo, and ‘Shi’(士) means an independent man. His name ‘博士, Hiroshi’ can also be read as ‘Hakase’ which means professor and he is mostly called Professor Agasa.

Ai Haibara (灰原 哀 , Haibara Ai)

Image by: Detective Conan Ep 926 ©Gosho Aoyama, Shogakukan Inc, Yomiuri TV, TMS

Ai, is the creator of the poison that turned Shinichi into Conan and a victim of it herself. She was a former researcher of the Black organization but rebelled against them after they killed her sister. She is also another person who knows Conan’s real identity because now she lives as Hiroshi’s adopted daughter. ‘Hai’(灰) is ash, ‘Bara’(原) is a field, and ‘Ai(哀) means sorrow.

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Interesting lines and phrases – Learning Japanese!

Here are some useful phrases from Detective Conan that will help you along with your Japanese studies!

Image by: Detective Conan Zero the Enforcer comic 1 Ep 1

EN/ ‘Even if I’m smaller my brain is still that of a great detective, there is always only one truth!’
JP/「小さくChīsaku なっても Nattemo頭脳はZunou wa  同じ!Onaji!迷宮なしのMeikyū nashi no 名探偵!Meitantei! 真実はShinjitsuwa   いつもItsumo 一つ!Hitotsu!

This is one of Conan’s catchphrases. ‘Chiisaku nattemo’ means though I’m smaller, ‘Zunou’(頭脳) means intelligence, and ‘Onaji’(同じ) means the same. ‘Meikyu’(迷宮) means a labyrinth or a mystery that is unsolved, and ‘Nashi’(なし) means none. ‘Tantei’(探偵) is a detective and ‘Mei’(名) is a word to add to a highly skilled master of a certain field or something very special. Some examples are ‘Meii’(名医) = excellent doctor, ‘Meibutsu’(名物) = local specialty, ‘Meimon’(名門) = Prestigious school, or a distinguished family. ‘Shinjitu’(真実) is the truth, ‘Itsumo’(いつも) means always, and ‘Hitotsu’ is one! What a perfect catchphrase for detective Conan who is always after the truth!

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