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Japanese names of characters from “Haikyu!!”

Japanese names of characters from “Haikyu!!”

Image by: Haikyu!! Official website ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc・Haikyu!! Production committee, MBS

What is the story?

Haikyu!! is a popular sports manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. Middle schooler Shoyo was deeply inspired by a high school volleyball player called the ‘Tiny Giant’ and hopes to be like him one day. When he finally made it into the ‘Karasuno High School’ where his role model used to go, Shoyo bumps into Tobio who defeated him badly at the middle school volleyball match. Unlike Shoyo, Tobio is a well known and talented student in the high school volleyball world. Despite their rivalry, together they develop an awesome new tactic and an unexpected bond. Along with their peers, they aim to reach the very top!

Image by: Haikyu!! Comic 1 ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc—

What is the Japanese title of Haikyu!!

It is also called ‘Haikyu!!'(ハイキュー!!) in the Japanese version. Haikyu means Volleyball in Japanese however the word ‘バレーボール, Barēbōru’ is more commonly used. You write the word ‘Haikyu’ in kanji as ‘排球’, ‘Hai'(排) means to push aside and ‘Kyu'(球) is a ball.

Image by: Haikyu!! Official website ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc・Haikyu!! Production committee, MBS

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 from the Karasuno high school volleyball players!

Shoyo Hinata (日向 翔陽, Hinata Shōyō)

Image by: Haikyu!! Ep9 ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc・Haikyu!! Production committee, MBS

Let’s start with the main character of the story Shoyo. He is sadly not gifted in his height but he has incredible stamina and the power to jump. ‘Hi'(日) means sun, ‘Nata'(向) means to face, when you put the two kanji together it becomes ‘Hinata'(日向) the sunny side. ‘Shou'(翔) means to soar, and ‘You'(陽) is sunlight. What an energetic name!

Tobio Kageyama (影山 飛雄, Kageyama Tobio)

Image by: Haikyu!! Ep9 ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc・Haikyu!! Production committee, MBS

Now let’s look into Tobio, the super talented volleyball player with an arrogant and self-centered attitude. ‘Kage'(影) means shadow, ‘Yama'(山) is a mountain, ‘Tobi'(飛) means to fly, and ‘O'(雄) means male and is a common ending for boy’s names.

Kei Tsukishima (月島 蛍, Tsukishima Kei)

Image by: Haikyu!! Ep11 ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc・Haikyu!! Production committee, MBS

The tallest member of the Karasuno high school. He always keeps his cool and doesn’t really show interest in anything but if you watch him carefully you can tell that he truly enjoys volleyball! ‘Tsuki'(月) means moon, ‘Shima'(島) is an island, and ‘Kei(蛍) is firefly.

Daichi Sawamura (澤村 大地, Sawamura Daichi)

Image by: Haikyu!! Ep11 ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc・Haikyu!! Production committee, MBS

Daichi is the captain of the Karasuno high school volleyball club. ‘Sawa'(澤) means swamp and ‘Mura'(村) is a village. His name ‘Daichi'(大地) means earth but when you look at the two kanji individually, ‘Dai'(大) means big and ‘Chi'(地) is ground.

Keishin Ukai (烏養 繋心, Ukai Keishin)

Image by: Haikyu!! Ep3 ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc・Haikyu!! Production committee, MBS

Ukai is an alumn of the Karasuno volleyball team and currently the coach. ‘U'(鳥) means bird, ‘Kai'(養) means to feed, ‘Kei'(繋) means to connect, and ‘Shin(心) means heart.

Interesting lines and phrases – Learning Japanese!

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

Image by: Haikyu!! Comic 42 Ep 366 ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc

EN/ ‘I came to cheer on my friend’
JP\「ともだちTomodachi  Wo  励ましにHagemashini来たKita   」

 

The word ‘Tomodachi’ means friend and you can replace it with another word to explain that you are cheering on someone else. ‘Kita’(came) is the past tense of ‘kuru’(come). If you use this phrase a lot then you are a very supportive person for sure!

Image by: Haikyu!! Comic 1 Ep 1 ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc

EN/ ‘We haven’t lost yet?’
JP/「まだMada  負けてMakete ないよ?Naiyo?

‘Mada’ means ‘Yet’, ‘Make’ means ‘Lose’ and ‘Nai’ Means ‘Not’. When people use this phrase they show their resilience. They work hard and never give up.


Image by: Haikyu!! Comic 24 Ep 208 ©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha Inc

EN/ ‘I’ll be going ahead’
JP/「Saki  Ni行くぜIkuze 」

 

‘Saki’ means First or ahead, ‘Ni’ means To, and ‘Iku’ means Go. Boys usually add a ‘Ze’ at the end of the sentence to sound rough or cool.

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