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Japanese girls names?

(79 Posts)
AmandaHE Sat 08-Feb-14 22:45:57

Hello... been really struggling to make the short list for our girl due in a few weeks. With a few ideas I've been worried are either too overused or a couple that are really rare (dad was born in Kenya so we have a few African names we're considering) we've just had an odd twist to the day. My husband has been sat at his nanas death bed this weekend - she was adopted and we've never known where she was from...but have known she didn't look totally English. The family have managed to dig out info while she's been so poorly and we have found out today that her father was a Jananese man. Its amazing to finally know what that streak of heritage is that we couldn't ever place and I'm really keen to see if there are any pretty names that we could use knowing this... but I'm unfamiliar with most of the names I've just googled and don't know how to say them properly! (after 5 mins of research!) Like Emiko a lot (but I once met a really nice one so dont have any other association other than that)

SomewhatSilly Sun 09-Feb-14 06:48:23

Love Yuho, don't think it would really work in English though!

Mogz Sun 09-Feb-14 07:00:34

Japanese names are gorgeous, I had a few on my shortlist for dd and we don't even have any Japanese connection other than DH and I love manga and anime! Ive used Japanese words as names for my bunnies in the past smile
I like Mae, Suki, Satski, Kiko, Fumie, Chihiro, Hiro, Sara.
The general rule of pronunciation it to group the letters in to 2s or 3s for each syllable.

SomewhatSilly Sun 09-Feb-14 07:18:13

Chihiro is an amazing name, as is Chitose. But can anyone pronounce them?

SomewhatSilly Sun 09-Feb-14 07:19:00

I mean, most people can't even get the vowels in sudoku the right way round, let alone the emphasis!

Batbear Sun 09-Feb-14 07:20:25

I like lots of these - also adding Mei to the mix!

snowqu33n Sun 09-Feb-14 07:23:21

Japanese people are usually thinking about how they will write the name, and each syllable will have a meaning. Aiko for example - Ai= love ko=child. Haruka - Haru= spring ka= flower.
The meaning and written appearance of each part of the name is far more important than in the UK.
The same name could sometimes be written with different combinations of kanji characters to give it a different meaning for the same pronunciation.
There is a bit of superstition associated with the number of pen-strokes when you write the name either on its own or in combination with the surname so it can be difficult. Some couples even ask a priest at the shrine to choose a lucky name for their child.
Usually they wouldn't give a child born in summer a wintry-sounding name. Some names are only suitable for first-born kids (this mostly applies to boys tho) and some names indicate the month the kid was born. How important this is to you depends on whether your child will have much interaction with Japanese people or not.

zipzap Sun 09-Feb-14 07:30:09

I was at school with a Yumiko which I always thought was a very pretty name - Yumi for short (pronounced more like yoo mee then yummy as some teachers thought!)

She was also a very nice person.

snowqu33n Sun 09-Feb-14 07:43:59

Lots of names start with Yu because it sounds like the word for 'winner' or 'prize'. Yumena, Yumeno are nice and a friend of mine dated a girl called Yurika and then when they split he dated a girl called Yukari who I was never able to directly address by name because I kept thinking I had got it the wrong way around. My other friend just named her little boy Yuuma and writes it with characters meaning 'Winning horse'. His father is a big fan of horse-racing...

SomewhatSilly Sun 09-Feb-14 08:59:14

Are you a J/British family snowqu33n?

TheGonnagle Sun 09-Feb-14 09:10:09

Masayo, Misaki, Mei, Chihiro, Yumiko, Hiroko, Tamayo, Ayako, Sachiyo, Saori, Yuriko, Kanako, Satsuki.

Mogz Sun 09-Feb-14 09:18:54

Snow that's all really interesting, I'll have to ask my Japanese friends a bit more about all this naming stuff as it sounds like there is a lot to it.

Abc000 Sun 09-Feb-14 09:25:28


Hulababy Sun 09-Feb-14 09:34:48

I taught a little girl who was Japanese. She was called Mei (May)

mirai Sun 09-Feb-14 12:38:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

badtime Sun 09-Feb-14 14:35:37

SomewhatSilly, of all the names here, many people would make a better stab at pronouncing Chihiro because of the film 'Spirited Away'. (I was wondering more about what most people would make of 'Aoki' - I have heard people say 'ay-oak-ee' when talking about the model/actress Devon Aoki!)

Artandco Sun 09-Feb-14 15:10:39

Ayano, known as aya

sleepdodger Sun 09-Feb-14 16:12:12

I know a uk/ Japanese thida pronounced teeda

Leeds2 Sun 09-Feb-14 16:29:34

Japanese girls at the school where I volunteer have been Eriko, Natsuho, Karen, Lisa, Akari and Chihiro.

I think Akari is lovely.

rusmum Sun 09-Feb-14 17:53:10


honeybeeridiculous Sun 09-Feb-14 18:02:44

Mai-ling is the only Chinese lady I know

honeybeeridiculous Sun 09-Feb-14 18:03:29

Sorry, I meant Japanese,

SomewhatSilly Sun 09-Feb-14 18:04:12

Honey hmm

NationMcKinley Sun 09-Feb-14 18:12:10

I was at school with a lovely Japanese girl called Kei (pro Kay) and have three Japanese friends called Yumiko, nn Yumi (pro Yoomi) and Aika (pro I-Ka with emphasis on the long I) and Mayumi. I think they're all lovely names smile and flowers for your husband's Nana, I hope she's comfortable

snowqu33n Sun 09-Feb-14 22:39:16

Aoki tends to be a boys name in my experience but some names are unisex, like Hiromi for instance.

AmandaHE Sun 09-Feb-14 23:14:36

Thanks all - some truly beautiful names in these suggestions and good bits of advice about how they're used. I love the contrast between some of these names and an English surname as well - not that our surname is at all typical though! Going to somehow try to narrow the list down to 5 before we pack the hospital bag!! And thank you NationMcKinley... she went so peacefully. Her name was Ivy, which I think is quite lovely...but we have a Holly already and although I love Christmas I think that's a step too far!

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