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Japanese names of characters from “Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost files”

Japanese names of characters from “Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost files”
Japanese names of characters from “Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost files”

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho comic5 ep36 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

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What’s the story?

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files is a popular battle manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. Yusuke, a fourteen-year-old teenager who died from a car accident saving a young kid received a second chance to live as a Spirit world detective. Yusuke and his demon assistant Botan starts working on supernatural cases in the human world often caused by the demons from the underworld. His job as a spirit world detective was perfect as Yusuke is naturally fearless and is very aggressive. The battles with the demons make him stronger each time and eventually he finds himself involved in fights between the human world and the underworld.

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho comic 1 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

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What is the Japanese title of Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files?

Yu Yu Hakusho(幽☆遊☆白書) means ‘Ghost Files’. Though there are two ‘Yu’ in the title, they both have different meanings. The first Yu(幽) which is also used in the main character’s name means ghost and the second Yu(遊) means to play. Hakusho(白書) means a report however the direct translation of each kanji is White(白) Paper(書).

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho official website ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha 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 Yu Yu Hakusho!

Yusuke Urameshi (浦飯 幽助, Urameshi Yūsuke)

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho comic5 ep36 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

Yusuke is the main character of this exciting series. Yusuke was granted a second life because his death was so unexpected. Also, the fact that his father was a demon allowed this to be possible. ‘Ura’ (浦) means bay, ‘Meshi’ (飯) means meal, ‘Yu’ (幽) means ghost, and ‘Suke’ (助) means help.

Botan (ぼたん, Botan)

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho comic3 ep18 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

Botan is a spirit who came from the underworld. Her main duty is to pass on messages from Koenma, the son of the king of hell and support Yusuke. Her name means Peony and it is written in Hiragana.

Keiko Yukimura (雪村 螢子, Yukimura Keiko)

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho comic1 Ep1 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

Keiko is Yusuke’s classmate who always cares about him. She is very brave and shows a lot of understanding of what Yusuke does. ‘Yuki’(雪) means snow, ‘Mura’(村) means village, ‘Kei’ (螢) means firefly, and ‘Ko’ (子) means child.

Kurama (蔵馬, Kurama)

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho comic7 Ep56 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

Kurama was a cruel demon named Yoko Kurama (妖狐 蔵馬, Yōko Kurama), but he transferred his spirit to a human baby to survive an incident which almost killed him. ‘Yo’ (妖) means demon, ‘Ko’ (狐) means fox, ‘Kura’ (蔵) means storage, and ‘Ma’(馬) is a horse. Shuichi Minamino (南野 秀一, Minamino Shūichi) is his human name. ‘Minami’ (南) is south, ‘No’(野) is a field, ‘Shu’ (秀) is smart, and ‘Ichi’ (一) means one.

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Hiei (飛影, Hiei)

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho Comic9 Ep73 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

Yusuke has made many friends throughout his journey and Hiei is one of his closest peers. Unlike the tiny appearance, he is a very powerful demon who possesses the power of the dark flames. ‘Hi’ (飛) means to fly and ‘Ei’ (影) is shadow.

Genkai (幻海, Genkai)

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho Comic 9 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

Yusuke has learned a lot from his master, Genkai. She is a human but is very strong and also gets along with demons. ‘Gen’ (幻) means illusion, ‘Kai’ (海) means ocean.

Koenma (コエンマ, Koenma)

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho Comic1 Ep2 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

The underworld is ruled by the king ‘Enma Daiou’(閻魔大王) since Enma was very busy he had his son ‘Koenma’ give instructions to Yusuke. ‘Ko’(コ) means little and ‘Enma’(エンマ) means the king of hell, so basically his name is Enma Jr!

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Interesting lines and phrases – Learning Japanese!

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

Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho Comic14 Ep 119 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

EN/ ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Let’s go’
JP/「虎穴にKoketsu ni  入らずんばIrazunba 虎子をKojiwo  得ずだ、Ezuda,行くぜIkuze

This is the Japanese version of the idiom ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’. The direct translation is ‘You won’t get the cub unless you go into the tiger’s cave’.


Image by: Yu Yu Hakusho Comic13 Ep110 ©Yoshihiro Togashi ©Shueisha Inc

EN/ ‘The victory goes to Urameshi!’
JP/「浦飯選手のUrameshi Senshu no  勝利です!Shouri desu!

In Japanese, you add the word ‘Senshu’ (which means player) to a sports player or a participant in a competition. ‘Shouri’ means Victory, when you want to say ‘I win!’ you simply say ‘Katta! 勝った!’

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