Japanese Boy Names

Japanese Boy Names

Japanese boy names have a great energy to them, thanks to those bright, bold, bouncy vowel endings. The appetite in the West for all things Japanese has exploded in recent years, and that’s just starting to extend to stylish Japanese baby names, too.

The Japanese names for boys that chart in the US tend to be those with cultural crossover, like Asa and Kane, which also have Hebrew and Celtic roots, respectively.

Along with Asa and Kane, other popular Japanese boy names include Kai, Raiden, Ren, and Koda. Baby boy names popular in Japan include Haruki — known to Americans as the first name of author Murakami — Riku, Toma, and Haruto.

Japanese baby names for boys also include several super-cool K options which feel bang on-trend in the US right now — we’re loving Kazuo, Kenzo, Koda and Kenji as exotic alternatives to the Kayden family of names.

Find more fantastic Japanese boy names in our full tally, below, ranked according to their current popularity on Nameberry.

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Boy Names

Japanese Names

Search Boy Names by Origin

  1. Asa
    • Origin:

      Hebrew; Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "healer; born in the morning"
    • Description:

      A short but strong biblical name with multicultural appeal, Asa is enjoying new visibility thanks to hot young actor Asa Butterfield of Hugo fame.
  2. Ren
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Rene or Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "water lily; lotus"
    • Description:

      A very popular name for boys, also used for girls, in Japan, most familiar in the West as half of cartoon's "Ren and Stimpy," and as the hero in both the original and updated versions of "Footloose."
  3. Koda
    • Origin:

      Japanese, Sioux
    • Meaning:

      "friend"
    • Description:

      A word in the Yankton-Yanktonai and Santee dialects of the Lakota Sioux language, meaning "friend" or "ally", used for one of the main characters in the movie Brother Bear. Also a common Japanese surname or a respelling of the musical name Coda.
  4. Kane
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "warrior"
    • Description:

      A name of multiple identities: a somewhat soap-operatic single-syllable surname, a homonym for the biblical bad boy Cain, and, when found in Japan and Hawaii, it transforms into the two syllable KA-neh. Kane also has multiple meanings: in Welsh, it's "beautiful"; in Japanese, "golden"; and in Hawaiian, "man of the Eastern sky."
  5. Raiden
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "thunder and lightning"
    • Description:

      The name of the Japanese god of thunder makes an assertive choice, very much at home in the Western world. Because of the name's similarity to popular baby names Aiden and Jayden, most people will pronounce it RAY-den, but it's more properly RYE-den.
  6. Kenzo
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "strong and healthy"
    • Description:

      Kenzo is a common Japanese name with several creative bearers: the single-named fashion designer, prizewinning architect Kenzo Takada, and painter Kenzo Okada, which makes it internationally recognizable.
  7. Zen
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "meditation"
    • Description:

      A spiritual word name used by actor Zoe Saldana for her son as well as more recently Nick Cannon and Alyssa Scott for their late son. Zen has been trending in recent years along with other spiritual names such as Bodhi and Zion, and recently entered the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2022.
  8. Hiro
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "broad, widespread"
    • Description:

      Hiro is an apt name for a hero of the show Heroes -- and for our times. Widely used in Japan, sometimes also for girls. Hiroshi is a long form.
  9. Goku
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "aware of emptiness"
    • Description:

      Goku is the name of the protagonist of the popular "Dragon Ball" manga series, which was turned into a live action film. The character of Goku is reportedly based on Sun Wukong, the hero of the Chinese legend Journey to the West.
  10. Kenji
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "second son"
    • Description:

      One of several Japanese names that refer to a child's place in the family birth order. Kenji has attracted notice in the US as the name of The Food Lab chef, James Kenji López-Alt, know simply as Kenji.
  11. Yoshi
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "good, respectful"
    • Description:

      A classic Japanese name known to kids around the world as a Nintendo video-game character.
  12. Akira
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "bright, intelligent"
    • Description:

      Akira is a popular Japanese name for both sexes that's migrated to the West because of its appearance in manga and video games. Akiro is a related name popular for boys.
  13. Maro
    • Origin:

      Latin, Hebrew, or Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "from Mars; bitter; or, myself"
    • Description:

      Maro is an ancient saints' name -- he was an Italian follower of St. Flavia and was martyred -- rarely used in modern life. The name Maro may stem from the Roman Marcellus, related to Mars, the god of war, or it may be a feminine form of Maria, connected with Mario. Maro is also a Japanese name meaning "myself."
  14. Hikaru
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "light or radiance"
    • Description:

      This name with a beautiful meaning can be used for girls as well as boys.
  15. Fuji
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "dweller near the river where wisteria grows"
    • Description:

      To honor the majestic mountain.
  16. Aki
    • Origin:

      Japanese; Finnish,"born in the autumn; ancestor"
    • Meaning:

      "born in the autumn; ancestor"
    • Description:

      A name known in several cultures, also through animated book character Tiger Aki. Finnish author Aki Ollikainen is another notable bearer.
  17. Ichiro
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "firstborn son"
    • Description:

      Ichiro is a good classic choice for the first boy in a Japanese family.
  18. Akiro
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "bright boy"
    • Description:

      Akiro is well used in Japan, the first name of famed director Kurosawa.
  19. Nori
    • Origin:

      Japanese, Norse
    • Meaning:

      "doctrine or seaweed; north or small person"
    • Description:

      Attractive, simple Japanese choice that, while not strictly unisex, could work even better for a girl, especially now that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West use it as the nickname for their daughter North. Nori is also the name of an edible seaweed used in wrapping sushi.
  20. Jiro
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "second son"
    • Description:

      Commonly used Japanese name -- and not only for a second son.