Unlike names from other Asian cultures, Japanese names are relatively easy for Westerners to pronounce. Whether or not you have Japanese roots, considering a traditional Japanese name is a great idea for your little price – the names are cute and imbued with meaning. Read through our list of the top 20 Japanese baby boys names – we have complied a list that includes both popular choices as well as names with a more unique flavor. Which of our brilliant baby boy names will be your favorite?

20 Handpicked Japanese Boy Names

Asahi (Light, Sunrise)

A particularly popular name for boys in Japan, it is also the name of a Japanese city, two wards, and numerous towns and villages. It is also a popular name for brands, such as the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, and the Asahi Brewery. The name means ‘morning light’ and is the perfect name for your little ray of sunshine.

Ashitaka (unknown)

While Ashitaka has a high profile as a Japanese name, it is not a traditional name and has no usual meaning connected with it. The name came into the public sphere with the release of Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, where Price Ashitaka is the atypical hero of the story. It is even rumored that the name was invented by the film creators, and as such isn’t a popular name in Japan, while it is well known abroad.

Daisuke (Big, Helpful)

A unisex name, Daisuke is far more popular for boys than for girls. There are a number of Japanese celebrities with the name, including sports people, manga artists, voice actors and more. Daisuke is also a name given to characters in fiction, such as in Ghost in the Shell, Digimon and Godzilla.

Daiki (Big, Tree)

This is a name that embodies strength, and is a popular choice for little boys in Japan. The name can also mean ‘big light’, which is unsurprising as many popular names in Japan have links to light and brightness. Over the years there have been many Japanese celebrities with this name, including many footballers. In the US, the name saw popularity in the 90’s but has dropped in recent years.

Eita (Crystal)

Not hugely popular in Japan, the name has several different meanings but ‘crystal’ is the most commonly used. There is a Japanese actor who shuns his family name and just goes by ‘Eita’ in his billings, and is well known for his movies and TV series’. There are few Japanese names beginning with ‘E’ and so this is a rare choice.

Hiro (Generous, Prosperous)

A popular boys name with several variations, made popular globally by the 2014 film Big Hero 6. Variations include Hiromu, Hiromasa, Hiroshi, and for girls, the names Hiroko and Hiromi are particularly popular. A lovely choice for the generous little soul in your life.

Haruto (Spring, Sun)

The name was hugely popular in the 1930’s and 40’s, but has dropped significantly in popularity since then. However, it’s a good choice because the Japanese characters have so many different meanings depending on which version you choose, though the characters meaning ‘spring’ are the most popular.

Haruki (Spring)

In 2012, this was the 4th most popular boys name in Japan, and has retained a top spot among other popular choices. It is also a surname is Japan, though it is more commonly known as a chosen name. With the same starting as the name ‘Haruto’, the name also means spring. In Osaka, there is a Haruki station.

Kazuma (True Harmony)

A name that rose in popularity in the 80’s, there are numerous young men in Japan these days with the name. A popular nickname for boys with this name is ‘Kazu’. Of international note is the Dutch-Japanese artist named Kazuma Eekman, a young illustrator in the Netherlands.

Keita (Blessing)

While Keita is not often a top choice in Japan, it’s a great cosmopolitan choice because Keita is a popular boys name in Africa, where it means ‘blessing’ – also the meaning it is said to have in Japanese. The name is a derivative of Keitaro.

Koki (Strong)

This name is pronounced with a long ‘o’ sound, and in Japan, was particular popular in the 50’s, 60’s and 80s’. Of note is Koki Sakamoto, a gymnast who starred in the 2008 Olympics. The name is cute, funny and distinctively Japanese.

Ryuugo (Dragon)

Not the most popular name, but one that has a lovely ring to it and is a good choice if you like the long ‘u’ sound which is sometimes seen in Japanese boys names. If you’re looking for a unique choice for your little price, Ryuugo could be a top choice.

Ren (Lotus)

A unisex name that is usually more popular for boys, Ren is short and punchy. It has particularly gained popularity since the Star Wars character Kylo Ren. Also, the name ‘Rei’ is gaining popularity, thanks to Star Wars heroine Rey. Single syllable names in Japanese are more popular for boys than for girls.

Rikuto (Land)

Rising in popularity since about 2013, the name ‘Riku’ is also a similar choice or a nickname for the above. It’s a great name if you have a cheeky, loveable boy, and is a great bilingual choice because of the similarity to the Western name ‘Rick’.

Sota (Smooth)

As well as Sou, or Souta, these three similar names have risen in popularity in recent years. With meanings such as ‘smooth’ and ‘consistent’, it would be a lovely choice for a shy little boy who keeps to himself.

Sosuke (Clever)

Currently enjoying a peak in popularity (in 2018) the name can have different meanings depending on the characters chosen. The name is known for being that of one of the central characters from the Studio Ghibli film ‘Ponyo’ – a very sweet, cute film, and the name is just as sweet.

Taiga (Big)

Peaking in popularity in 2010 and 2015, the name is a cute choice for how similar is sounds to the word ‘tiger’ – a word which imbues strength and courage. Taiga is also a word that means a community of forests, and is the perfect choice if you’re looking at an eco-friendly, hippy choice.

Tatsuo (dragon)

A strong name with enduring popularity, celebrities called Tatsuo include Japanese Politian’s, writers, actors and sportsmen. The name is a top choice for masculine, strong and heroic little boys.

Yuuto (Helpful, Brave)

A cute name with a variety of meaning, celebrities with this name have been members of K-Pop bands, sportsmen and a child prodigy called Yuto Miyazawa, who was named the youngest professional guitarist in the Guinness Book of World Records. Impressive!

Yuuki (Snow)

A name popular for both boys and girls, the name Yuki is the perfect choice for a child born in the winter. Also spent ‘Yuki’, though more commonly this spelling is used for girls. These days it’s more fashionably a boy’s name than a name for girls.

Final Words

While there are countless names to choose from if you want to pick something Japanese, we think this list of the top twenty gives you a good number to consider. From names that are strong and cool, to names that sound cute and quirky, you’re sure to find one that suits your little charmer. Whatever you pick, we’re sure that your baby boy will have a name that is tokubetsu (special) and suits him perfectly!

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