The most popular Japanese baby names, direct from modern-day Japan

Cute asian baby girl - Popular Japanese baby names in Japan

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What do parents in Japan like to name their babies nowadays? To get the latest, we checked out a report made from the baby registries at the country’s popular Akachan Honpo stores. (The 112-store chain is sort of like a Japanese Target, but only stock maternity and baby/toddler products.)

Here are top ten lists from 2018 with the most popular Japanese names, direct from Japan!

Top Japanese baby names for girls

For girls, Aoi was the top name in 2018. This is the name of a flower — an Althea or Rose of Sharon (which is closely related to a hibiscus). Akachan Honpo notes that kanji related to flowers were especially popular for little girls, such as one name that means “a blooming face towards the sun.”

1) Aoi (葵)

2) Yūna (結菜)

3) Himari (陽葵)

4) Sakura (咲良) – Cherry tree

5) Mei (芽依) – May, related to Buddhism

6) Yui (結衣)

7) Rin (凜)

8) Yua (結愛) – Love

9) Hina (陽菜)

10) Riko (莉子)

Lotus flower - Japanese baby name Ren

Top Japanese baby names for boys

The number one name for boys was Ren, which means lotus — the hearty flower shown above. The name is popular for both boys and girls, so they can “feel the strength and the will of strength to accomplish even in difficult situations.”

1) Ren (蓮) – Means lotus flower

2) Hiroto (大翔)

3) Haruto (陽翔)

4) Itsuki (樹) – Tree

5) Minato (湊)

6) Yamato (大和)

7) Yūto (悠人)

8) Yūma (悠真)

9) Yōta (陽太)

10) Yūto (結翔)

Japanese landmarks and symbols

Tips for choosing a Japanese baby name

The store suggests that parents in Japan keep a few things in when deciding on a baby name — several of which are not typically a factor in English-speaking countries. They are:

  • The strokes used to write a name (as in pen or brush strokes)
  • The number of strokes used
  • Any Kanji characters the parents wish to include
  • The sound of the names
  • How the name balances with the last name
  • Date of the baby’s birth
  • How it relates to other family names
  • Connection to events symbolizing the year
  • Nature meanings and other themes