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The popular names for children of mixed nationality couples

The popular names for children of mixed nationality couples
The popular names for children of mixed nationality couples

For an interracial couple, they share two different cultures (or more!) is so exciting. And if the parents have different nationalities, how they name their child?
Here are our picks for the popular names for mixed race child.

Boys (English-speaking countries × Japan)

  • じょうじ/ Jōji click to speech じょうじ (the sound – Jorge, George)
    Examples of kanji: 丈二, 譲治
  • じょう/ Jō click to speech じょう (the sound – Joe, Joel)
    Examples of kanji: 穣, 譲
  • じえい/ Jiei click to speech じえい (the sound – Jay)
    Examples of kanji: 慈英, 士詠
  • かいと/ Kaito click to speech かいと (the sound – Kite)
    Examples of kanji: 海斗, 海都
  • かい/ Kai click to speech かい (the sound – Kay)
    Examples of kanji: 海, 櫂
  • るか/ Ruka click to speech るか (the sound – Lucas)
    Examples of kanji: 留可, 流伽
  • るい/ Rui click to speech るい (the sound – Louis)
    Examples of kanji: 塁, 瑠維
  • ひゅうご/Hyūgo click to speech ひゅうご (the sound – Hugo)
    Examples of kanji: 彪伍, 飛悠吾

Girls (English-speaking countries × Japan)

  • えみり/ Emiri click to speech えみり (the sound – Emily)
    Examples of kanji: 江美里, 恵美梨
  • みあ/ Mia click to speech みあ (the sound – Mia)
    Examples of kanji: 未亜, 美愛
  • めい/ Mei click to speech めい (the sound – May)
    Examples of kanji: 芽衣, 萌依
  • ありす/ Arisu click to speech ありす (the sound – Alice)
    Examples of kanji: 有里朱, 亜梨朱
  • りさ/ Risa click to speech りさ (the sound – Lisa)
    Examples of kanji: 梨沙, 里咲
  • あみ/ Ami click to speech あみ (the sound – Amy, Emmy)
    Examples of kanji: 亜美, 愛海
  • せりな/ Serina click to speech せりな (the sound – Serena)
    Examples of kanji: 芹那, 聖理奈
  • はな/Hana click to speech はな (the sound – Hanna)
    Examples of kanji: 花, 英奈

When you look at the names, it seems that parents often give names that sound good in Japan and the world. Names that retain a Japanese image but are comfortable to give an English nickname to are also popular. Here are a few examples;

  • かずや/ Kazuya click to speech かずや, かずき/ Kazuki click to speech かず – Nickname: Kazu
  • ひろふみ/ Hirofumi click to speech ひろふみ, たかひろ/ Takahiro click to speech たかひろ – Nickname: Hiro
  • れおな/ Reona click to speech れおな, れお/ Reoclick to speech れお – Nickname: Leo

Foreign-inspired names are often associated with an international image in Japan. However, since Japan uses the “Romaji” to spell names, they often don’t sound the same in English. For instance, a girl has the name of “Alice (ありす)” but when she writes her name in “Romaji”, it becomes “Arisu (ありす)”.
The pronunciation changes in English and “Romaji”, so she may have to explain it every time she introduces herself.
e.x. the name is spelled “Risa (りさ)” in Japan, but its pronunciation is “Lisa (líːsə)”.

  • るな (Luna) → Romaji: Runa click to speech るな
  • まあさ (Martha) → Romaji: Maasa click to speech まあさ
  • りあ (Leah) → Romaji: Ria click to speech りあ

Non-English speaking countries

Boys (Philippines × Japan)

  • レイ/ Rei click to speech れい (the sound – Rey)
    Examples of kanji: 礼, 玲
  • リキ/ Riki click to speech りき (the sound – Ricky)
    Examples of kanji: 理希, 力
  • サク/ Saku click to speech さく (the sound – Saku)
    Examples of kanji: 咲空,作久

Girls ( Philippines × Japan)

  • マリア/ Maria click to speech マリア (the sound – Maria)
    Examples of kanji: 真莉愛, 麻里亜
  • ミエ/ Mie click to speech ミエ (the sound – Mea)
    Examples of kanji: 美恵, 美英
  • マリ/ Mari click to speech マリ (the sound – Mary)
    Examples of kanji: 真里, 万莉

For international couples in the Philippines, it seems to be popular to give their children English names that sound like Japanese names. The Philippines also allows people to use their middle name, so they can use their Japanese name as a middle name. (And vice versa.)

Boys (France × Japan)

  • ルカ/ Ruka click to speech ルカ (the sound – Lucas)
    Examples of kanji: 琉雅, 瑠加
  • レオ/ Reo click to speech レオ (the sound – Leo)
    Examples of kanji: 玲央, 怜雄

Girls (France × Japan)

  • エマ/ Ema click to speech エマ (the sound – Emma)
    Examples of kanji: 恵麻, 英茉
  • ローラ/ Rōra click to speech ローラ (the sound – Laura)
    Examples of kanji: 楼蘭,桜良
  • クロエ/ Kuroe click to speech クロエ (the sound – Chloe)
    Examples of kanji: 玄会,来魯江

In France, parents use French names, and in Japan, they are sometimes written in katakana instead of applying kanji.

Boys (Korea × Japan)

  • ジン/ Jin click to speech ジン (the sound – Jin)
    Examples of kanji: 仁, 迅
  • シンジ/ Shinji click to speech シンジ (the sound – Shin ji)
    Examples of kanji: 真司, 慎二
  • ジュン/ Jun click to speech ジュン (the sound – Jun)
    Examples of kanji: 准, 純

Girls (Korea × Japan)

  • ミナ/ Mina click to speech ミナ (the sound – Mina)
    Examples of kanji: 美奈, 美南
  • ユミ/ Yumi click to speech ユミ (the sound – Yumi)
    Examples of kanji: 由美, 結実
  • リナ/ Rina click to speech リナ (the sound – Rina)
    Examples of kanji: 里奈, 理名

In Korea, many of the names are spelled the same, and it seems to be popular to give names that are familiar in both countries.

Boys (China × Japan)

  • リュウ/ Ryu click to speech リュウ (the sound – Ryu)
    Examples of kanji: 柳, 龍
  • リアン/ Rian click to speech リアン (the sound – Lian)
    Examples of kanji: 理庵, 蓮

Girls (China × Japan)

  • アイリ/ Airi click to speech アイリ (the sound – Airi)
    Examples of kanji: 愛莉
  • ミレイ/ Mirei click to speech ミレイ (the sound – Mirei)
    Examples of kanji: 美麗

In the case of China and Japan, they sometimes use the kanji that are used in both countries. However, the meanings of the kanji are well understood by the two countries, so those names are popular.

Is the middle name needed?

In Japan, it is not customary to give a person a middle name, but some countries allow you to have a middle name, so you can have a Western-like name for the first name and a Japanese-like name for the middle name. (Vice versa.)

For example;
Japanese: Yūichi Yamada (山田 祐一)
English: Thomas Yūichi Smith
English: Yūichi Thomas Smith

When naming a mixed nationality child, several things are taken into consideration. For example, the parents make sure that the name will not be difficult for both families to pronounce, that it will be easy for the locals to remember, and also check whether it has a strange meaning in the local languages.
However, I think if the name is meant to be wishful thinking of the parents, it’s a good idea to give the child any name you love for them, after all.

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