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Japanese names of characters from “Doraemon”

Japanese names of characters from “Doraemon”
Japanese names of characters from “Doraemon”

Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

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What is the story?

Doraemon is one of the most famous manga series in Japan, it is written and illustrated by Fujiko. F. Fujio. Doraemon is an earless cat robot who came from the future to help Nobita, a young boy who was going to have a miserable life due to his laziness and lack of talent. Doraemon has a special four-dimensional pocket that carries all sorts of interesting future gadgets to improve Nobita’s life. Well, the main purpose is to make Nobita a better person so each episode often ends in a way that Nobita relies too much on the gadgets but then learns a lesson.

Image by: Doraemon Comic Book 1 ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan

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What is the Japanese title of Doraemon?

‘Doraemon’(ドラえもん) is the title of both the Japanese and English version. The first two letters ‘Dora’(ドラ) are written in Katakana and the rest are in Hiragana.

Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

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What are the meanings behind the characters’ names?

In Japanese culture, names have significant meanings which 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 Doraemon.

Doraemon (ドラえもん, Doraemon)

Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

Doraemon, a very well known character in Japan. ‘Dora ドラ’ is taken from the word ‘Dora Neko’ which means stray cat. ‘Emon’ is an old fashioned ending for a boy’s name. As you can see from the title, Doraemon’s name is written both in Hiragana and Katakana which is quite unusual. The reason to this uniqueness was explained in one of the episodes when Doraemon was about to register his name at the robot townhall he forgot how to write ‘E’(え), ‘Mo’ (も), and ‘N’(ん) in Katakana so instead he decided to write them in hiragana.

Nobita Nobi (野比 のび太, Nobi Nobita)

Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

Nobita is the main character of the series. He is lazy and doesn’t like to work hard but on the other hand, he is also very kind. ‘No’(野 )means field and ‘Bi’(比) means ratio. ‘Nobi’(のび) means to grow or stretch (the full word is Nobiru, 伸びる) and ‘Ta’(太) means extremely big.

Shizuka Minamoto (源 静香, Minamoto Shizuka)

Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

Shizuka is a kind and gentle friend of Nobita. ‘Minamoto’(源) means the source of a stream. ‘Shizu’(静) means quiet and ‘Ka’(香) means fragrance.

Takeshi Gouda (剛田 武, Gōda Takeshi)

Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

Takeshi, also known as ‘Giant’ is very aggressive and always bullies Nobita. ‘Gou’(剛) means hard and strong, ‘Da’(田) or ‘Ta’ is a paddy field, and ‘Takeshi’(武) means force. A perfect name to suit his character and looks!

Suneo Honekawa (骨川スネ夫, Honekawa Suneo)

Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

Along with his best friend Giant, Suneo enjoys bullying Nobita. ‘Hone’(骨) means bone, ‘Kawa’() means river. ‘Sune’ is written in Katakana and ‘O’() means husband.

The word ‘sune’ is believed to be taken from the phrase ‘Oya no Sune wo Kajiru’(親の臑を嚙る) which means depending on your parents’ financial support. Born to a wealthy family, Suneo loves to show off his new toys and expensive gadgets.

Hidetoshi Dekisugi (出木杉 英才, Dekisugi Hidetoshi)

Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

 

Hidetoshi has a very interesting name, his family name ‘Dekisugi’ means too good. As you can tell from his name, Hidetoshi is a smart and hard-working boy. ‘De’(出) means out, ‘Ki’ (木) is a tree, ‘Sugi’(杉) is a type of tree called cedar, ‘Hide’(英) means excel, and ‘Sai’(才) means talent.

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Interesting lines and phrases – Learning Japanese!

Here are some useful phrases from Doraemon which will help you along with your Japanese studies!

Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

EN/ ‘Help me Doraemon’
JP/「助けてTasukete ドラえもんDoraemon 」

 

One of Nobita’s signature phrase which you will hear almost in all the episodes. Whenever Nobita is bullied by Giant of faces trouble he would go ‘Tasukete!’ which means help!


Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

EN/ ‘Dorayaki is my favorite food!’
JP/「どら焼きはDorayaki wa 大好物なんだ!Daikoubutsu nanda!

Dorayaki is a must-try Japanese pancake with red bean filling. ‘Daikoubutsu’ means the most favorite food!


Image by: Official Doraemon Website ©Fujiko pro/Shogakukan ©Tv Asahi/Shinei/ADK

EN/ ‘What about your homework? You can’t play until you finish it!’
JP/「宿題は?Shukudai wa? 終わるまでOwarumade遊んじゃAsonjaいけませんよ!Ikemasenyo!

‘Shukudai’ means homework, ‘owaru’ means finish, ‘made’ is yet. Nobita’s mother often says ‘Ikemasen’ which means cannot!

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