Japan Announces New Top Baby Names

Japan Announces New Top Baby Names

Japan’s top baby names for 2019 are Rin for girls and Ren for boys, according to a new list released by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co.

Top Japanese Girl Names

Rin — Pronounced REEN, Rin means “dignified” or “severe.” It’s considered unisex but is clearly much more popular for girls.

Himari — A nature name, Himari means “sunflower.” Omamori Himari is a Japanese manga series in which Himari, a cat spirit in human girl form, is one of the main characters.

Yua — Means “to bind with affection”, Yua is also a genus of plant related to the grapevine.

An — Derived from the Chinese ?n, meaning “peace” or “quiet”, An is also used in China and Vietnam.

Tsubaki — A Japanese surname name, Tsubaki means “camellia flower.” In the West, the plant is called Japanese Camellia.

Top Japanese Boy Names

Ren — Depending on the kanji used, Ren can be considered to mean “lotus” or “love.” It’s one of the few Japanese names to rank in the US Top 1000. This is perhaps in part due to familiarity via characters Ren MacCormack from Footloose or Ren Hoek from Ren and Stimpy.

Haruto — Haruto has many kanji combinations. One possible meaning is “a person born in the Spring“. Haruto is also related to a Chinese constellation, making it a celestial name. Haruto K? was a 20th century Japanese poet.

Arata — Means “new” or “fresh.” It’s also a surname in both Italy and Japan, where the kanji used often give it the meaning “uncultivated field.”

Minato — The Japanese word for “harbor.” As such, it’s used in many Japanese place names. Minato City is a neighborhood in Tokyo.

Aoi — Unisex name meaning “hollyhock” or “blue” based on the kanji used. Aoi is the name of a Japanese rock singer of the band Bounty with Kazuya.

Japanese Baby Names in the US

Kairi, Kenzo, and Raiden are among the names of Japanese origin that rank in the US Top 1000. Others, like Amaya, Asa, Kai, and Reina have multiple origins, with Japanese being the non-dominant one.

Below are 28 Japanese names that easily translate for a child growing up in Western culture. None of these are currently common in the US. But be warned: Choices like Mika, Rumi, and Zen are heating up.

  • Aiko

  • Akira

  • Aneko

  • Chiyo

  • Emi

  • Gen

  • Haruki

  • Hiro

  • Ishi

  • Issey

  • Keiko

  • Kenji

  • Jiro

  • Makoto

  • Mei

  • Mika

  • Naoko

  • Nomi

  • Nori

  • Rumi

  • Sakura

  • Suki

  • Sumi

  • Takeo

  • Umeko

  • Yuki

  • Yuna

  • Zen

  • What do you think of the top names in Japan? Would or did you ever consider a Japanese name for your child?

    About the Author

    Sophie Kihm

    Sophie Kihm

    Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top 2020s names, Gen Z names, and cottagecore baby names. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest.

    Sophie Kihm's articles on names have run on People, Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has been quoted as a name expert by The Washington Post, People, The Huffington Post, and more. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.