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First Names

Eleven stories behind the Japanese naming

Eleven stories behind the Japanese naming

There are as many names as there are children born, and each naming has its own story. This article will introduce 11 examples of Japanese naming practices.
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Suffixes attached to names that Japanese people consider to be important

Suffixes attached to names that Japanese people consider to be important

In Japan, you might encounter the situation that people use suffixes to attach to their names. We tend not to call someone’s name without suffixes unless she/he is your close friend or family member.

For instance, when you were introduced to Mr. Kenji Yamada at the first meeting, you wouldn’t say him ‘hi, how are you Kenji?” It seems friendly to some people but sounds like a bit impolite .

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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.

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What are the most popular kanji for the naming of babies in Japan today?

What are the most popular kanji for the naming of babies in Japan today?

The website 明治安田生命 releases the rankings of “the most popular kanji for names” every year.
Every single kanji has its meaning, therefore, parents think carefully about which kanji to use for naming their child. Let’s find out what was the most popular kanji used for naming in 2019.

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Comparing Japanese Names in 1912 with Modern Names

Comparing Japanese Names in 1912 with Modern Names

The Japanese insurance company 明治安田生命 releases the rankings of “the most popular names” every year. Find out the top names given boys and girls.

One of the major events of 2019 was the revision of the Japanese era. Heisei (平成) era lasted for 31 years, and it was changed to Reiwa (令和). The whole of Japan was so excited that a new era had begun.
Has this big event affected the way we name our babies?

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Trends in Japanese names as they change over time

Trends in Japanese names as they change over time

Popular names change with the period. Certain names are trendy in each generation. This is because names change with the influence of each period, events, society, celebrities, etc. For Japanese people, they might often guess the generation in which a person was born just by listening to their name. Here is a recent history o of some naming trends.

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“Seimei-Handan” – Fortunetelling based on your name

“Seimei-Handan” – Fortunetelling based on your name

Choosing a favorite baby name can feel intimacy and affectionate. When parents name their children, they put a lot of thoughts and consideration into it.

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An Introduction to “Kira-kira names” – Beyond the old-fashioned pronunciation of Kanji

An Introduction to “Kira-kira names” – Beyond the old-fashioned pronunciation of Kanji

Have you ever heard 'Kira-kira name'? In Japan, there is a controversial trend of the naming of your child a so-called 'Kira-kira name'.
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Japanese names that sound good internationally

Japanese names that sound good internationally

Introducing some beautiful Japanese names that also sound Western and would work internationally
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Common Japanese first names

Common Japanese first names

Today I want to introduce some common Japanese first names. The most common baby names in Japan are tracked every year by several organizations and they analyze the name trends of each year.Here are some names from the research.
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The rules of Japanese nicknaming

The rules of Japanese nicknaming

I wrote about how creative you can be in choosing, or rather creating, a Japanese first name in my earlier article, and today I want to tell you how creative you can be in coming up with Japanese nicknames.
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Cool Japanese first names

Cool Japanese first names

I’ve picked up names that not only sound cool but also have cool meanings.
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How creative and artistic Japanese naming can be

How creative and artistic Japanese naming can be

Would you be surprised if I said Japanese people can actually “create” names when they name their children? That’s the most extraordinary thing about naming in Japanese. Today, I want to tell you about how creative, even artistic, you can be in creating a Japanese first name.
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What’s in a Japanese name? Introduction to how Japanese names work

What’s in a Japanese name? Introduction to how Japanese names work

I’m very happy that you are interested in Japanese names. In this article I’ll tell you the basics of how they work. Japanese names are so unique and cool, and have many special features. I hope you’ll enjoy!
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Love for Ukraine

Supporting Ukraine Kids together

As the situation in Ukraine escalates, I feel with emotions too overwhelming to name. There are many children in Ukraine whose homes have been destroyed and without food and water. Gentle support is needed.

Please donate to Save the Children.

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For the kind Russian people

Apparently this isn't broadcast on Russian TV, but what the Russian government is doing isn't actually a peacekeeping operation, but is more correctly described as an invasion and looting of your relative's country, Ukraine.

The only power that can change the reality in Ukraine is for the Russian people to speak out. Please touch the world media outside of Russia to see how your government is causing the tragic situation. Thank you for a peaceful world!

e.g. UNICEF, Red Cross