Seven days after the birth of their babies, Japanese parents, after careful thought and consideration over what they will call the child, may choose to participate in a special baby-naming ceremony. The first name takes on special significance, since, in most cases, children are not given a middle name. Many popular girls’ names reflect either the inner or outer beauty of individuals and nature.
Names from Nature
A variety of Japanese girls’ names are from the natural world. For example, a little girl might be called Akina, for spring flower, or Kohana, a little flower. Specific flower names include Ren, water lily; Kiku; chrysanthemum; or Sakura, cherry blossom. Other nature choices might include Kaede, maple leaf, and Matsu, pine tree.
Names that Express Qualities
Values and ideals considered important by their parents may translate into Japanese names for little girls. Uplifting names include the two-letter Ai, which means love; Yoko, positive, Sachi, joy; and Nozomi, hope. Parents who look forward to their daughter being a delight might name her Etsu. Wishing their little girls positive qualities, parents might choose to name their daughter Hiroko, meaning generous; Michi, righteous; or Masa, good and straightforward. A lucky name is Kichi, which means fortunate.
Names of Objects
Looking up into the night sky, expectant parents might come up with the luminous names of Hoshi, meaning a star, or Mika for the new moon. Luxuries might prove to be the inspiration for some parents who might choose Takara, which means treasure; Nyoko, gem; Ruri, emerald. Animal lovers might like to have a daughter named Rini, little bunny; Shika, deer; or even Tora, which means tiger.
Some Japanese names translate to short meaningful phrases. For example, Momalo means “a hundred blessings,” while Chiyo means “a thousand generations.” Descriptions including the word “child” include Chikako, fragrant child; Bunko, literary child, Umeko, plum blossom child; and Junko, obedient child. Masuyo means benefit the world, and Eri means blessed prize.
Most Popular Names
According to Issendai, 25 names in particular have proven to be the most popular Japanese girls’ names from the mid 1990s through 2003. These are Ai, Akane, Ami, Aoi, Asuka, Aya, Ayaka, Ayano, Chihiro, Chinatsu, Haruka, Hina, Kaeda, Kana, Kotone, Miu, Miyu, Mizuki, Moe, Momoko, Nan, Nanako, Nanami, Natsuki and Reina.