45 Most Meaningful Japanese Boy Names
Looking for a beautiful baby boy name with a special meaning? Japanese baby names are unique in that each name is composed of kanji, a type of symbol used to form words.
Often, a name can be made from several different combinations of kanji, giving the name multiple possible meanings. These Japanese boy names have some of the coolest meanings, and they sound even cooler.
This concise but punchy Japanese boy name means "crystal clear." For a longer, more formal sounding name, try Akihiko, meaning bright prince.
Akihiko was also a character in the Marvel Comics universe who was known as being one of the few people to survive the activation of the infinity gauntlet.
The meaning of the Japanese boy name Akio is as light and airy as it sounds. It means luminous or bright.
The creative-sounding name became more popular after a Japanese-American artist named Akio Takamori became famous.
The name Akira is just as glowing as the shorter "Akio." The Japanese name means bright and clear, and it can be used for both boys and girls.
In Japan, however, the name is more commonly used for baby boys.
Every morning brings new and exciting developments for newborn babies. The Japanese boy name Asahi captures the excitement of a new baby discovering the world.
It means "dawn of a new day" or "the morning sun," depending on which kanji are used.
Given the chaotic state of the world, Benjiro is quite a fitting Japanese boy name. It translates to "one who enjoys peace."
Presumably, those who enjoy peace seek it out, helping to restore peace wherever they journey.
Nature-inspired baby names are timeless, including the name Botan.
Floral names are usually reserved for girls, and we love that Botan shakes things up. It means "peony" in Japanese and can be shortened to Tan for a fun nickname.
Chimon is a Japanese name meaning "gate of wisdom."
This likely comes from Buddhist tradition, but anyone can appreciate the depth of its meaning.
Daichi is a name parents choose when they want their baby to grow up with strong roots. It's the Japanese word for earth. What could be a more powerful name than that?
It was also the name of a large satellite launched in 2006.
In Japanese, the boy's name Daisuke means "great help." The world can always use more helpers, so we love this name.
Just think of how much better the world would be if we all went out of our way to help in small ways.
For those who value honesty and righteousness above all else, consider the boy name Giichi. In Japanese, it means "justice."
Giichi already rolls off the tongue, but some families shorten it to just "Chi."
When ranked by sound alone, the sweet name Haru is one of the most popular Japanese boy names. It can mean several things depending on the kanji used, including spring, light and sun.
It's also the Korean word for day.
The lengthier version of Haru, Haruto, was the most popular baby boy name in Japan in 2020 when ranked by sound, and the second most popular when ranked by kanji.
The most commonly used kanji combination for Haruto translates to light, sun, male and soar.
For families who have waited for a boy for ages, Hideo might be the best Japanese boy name around. It means "excellent male child," or "excellent man."
In a way, it's both a celebration of a new baby boy and a wish for him to grow up into a good, kind human being.
Hinata is a popular Japanese boy name meaning "toward the sun." If you've ever had a houseplant, watch what it does when you place it in a shady corner. Like magic, it reaches toward the direction of the closest rays of sun.
Similarly, Hinata represents perseverance, always seeking the light in life.
The name Hiroshi, sometimes shorted to just Hiro, means generous, prosperous and tolerant.
One famous Hiroshi lived up to the legacy of his meaningful name. U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Hiroshi Miyamura was awarded the Medal of Honor, a Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal, and a Purple Heart.
He even has a high school named after him.
Hotaru comes from the Japanese word for firefly. The tiny creature is said to symbolize positivity and good luck, bringing light to even the darkest of nights.
Hotaru can also be shortened to just "Taru" for an easy-to-say nickname.
For firstborn sons, try Ichiro. This Japanese name means “first son."
It saw a distinct spike in popularity in the early 2000s thanks to Ichiro Suzuki, a famous baseball player who earned the title of Rookie of the Year and MVP.
Many Japanese baby names are inspired by nature. Itsuki means "tree," representing strength, patience, wisdom and longevity.
After all, trees can live for centuries, weathering even the most violent of storms.
Jin, a gender-neutral Japanese name, means tenderness in Japan. That said, it's a more popular name in China, where the easy to say name means "gold."
It also means "truth" in Korean.
Parents welcoming their second son into the world should consider the short and melodic "Jiro."
The Japanese boy name means, quite literally, "second son."
For those who want to send a message of peace and tranquility to their new baby, try Jona.
This sweet baby boy name means "dove."
The name Jun is popular in several Asian cultures, but in Japan, it means "pure and simple."
It's also the name of a fermented tea similar to kombucha, only made with green tea instead of black tea.
The name Kaito is fun to say and has a calming, nature-inspired meaning. It can either mean "sea" or "to soar or fly," depending on the kanji used.
It's very easy to pronounce in any language, making it a great choice for bilingual babies.
Shorten it to Kai for a sweet nickname.
Katsumi is more popular in Japan as a girls name than a boys name, but in recent years, it has evolved into a unisex baby name.
Katsumi means "victorious beauty," and anyone who doesn't think boys should be called beautiful clearly hasn't held a precious newborn baby boy lately.
Children teach parents almost as much as we teach them.
For those who are grateful for the lessons parenting offers up, try the name Keisuke. In Japanese, it means "to save."
Kenji was one of the most popular names with Japanese origins used in the United States for years. It was most popular in the 1970s, but it remains a great name.
It's usually made using the kanji for healthy and strong.
Any "Avatar: The Last Airbender" fans in the house? The Japanese name Kiyoshi might sound familiar since it was used in the series for a group of elite warriors, albeit with a slightly different spelling.
The name means bright and shining. One U.S. service member, Kiyoshi K. Muranaga, was given the Medal of Honor for his heroism during World War II.
Bright and shining indeed.
Kohaku can mean many things, but this popular Japanese name is usually said to mean "amber." Like the thick, golden resin, Kohaku is a name that glows.
It's the name of Japan's New Year's Eve show, celebrating the start of a new year with performers and parties.
Kosuke is a Japanese boy name meaning "rising sun." While it comes from Japan, it's also popular in China and Germany.
Anime fans might recognize it as the name of a famous anime artist, Kosuke Fujishima.
Kota is a name rich in meaning and positive vibes. This Japanese boy's name means good fortune and happiness.
The name Mako might be familiar if you've watched one too many episodes of Shark Week. The shortfin mako shark can reach up to 1,200 pounds, and it's a pretty terrifying predator.
There's nothing scary about the meaning of this sweet Japanese boy name, however. It means "sincerity."
It's often used as a nickname for "Makato" or "Makoto."
Makoto, similar to the shorter Mako, is a gender-neutral name meaning "truth." While Mako is more commonly used for girls, Makoto is most popular for boys.
One famous Makoto was Makoto Ueda, a Stanford professor who translated the work of dozens of female haiku poets from the 17th-20th century, shedding light on the experiences of marginalized women.
The Japanese baby name Masashi can mean a few different things depending on which kanji are used to spell it. It's usually made up of the characters masa and shi, meaning "government" and "purpose." The simplified translation is "ambitious and commanding."
While being demanding is a negative trait, having a commanding presence is something to take pride in.
If you're looking for a name that symbolizes stability and having a strong foundation, Minato might do the trick. This Japanese boy’s name means “harbor."
Harbors represent both the wild freedom of the open water and the safety of returning home to shore.
Japanese boy names don't get any sweeter than Mitsu.
A playful-sounding unisex baby name, Mitsu means "honey."
Natsu has a sweet, spicy flavor. This fun Japanese name can be used for both boys or girls, translating to "born in summer."
Reiko is, admittedly, more popular as a girls name, but some parents love the meaning so much that they've started using it for boys as well.
Reiko means "beautiful, wise child." Inspiring, wouldn't you agree?
In Japanese, the name Ren has two possible meanings. Written with some kanji, it means "water lily." With others, it means "love." Either way, it's a very popular Japanese boy name.
In the U.S., people often associate it with the cartoon "Ren and Stimpy" or as one of the main characters from "Footloose."
While the name Rin can mean "cold or severe," it also has a positive meaning: dignified. The name Rin inspires focus, drive and ambition.
It also used to be a Japanese monetary unit.
The name Ronin has become popular in many cultures and has many meanings, but in Japan, it means "wanderer."
A ronin was also the title given to samurais without masters in Japan's feudal period.
In Japan, the name Sana means "calm." It's a popular name in India as well, coming from the Arabic word meaning "to shine."
Since it's used differently by different cultures, it's safe to say the name Sana is a great name for either girls or boys.
Another wonderful Japanese boy name, Seiko means "force" or "truth." A baby named Seiko is destined to bring kindness and honesty everywhere he goes.
It can also be used for baby girls.
The name Tomi might not seem Japanese thanks to the American political commentator Tomi Lahren, but in Japanese, Tomi isn't related to politics at all. It means wealth and fortune.
Bestowing an extra sprinkle of good luck on your new baby isn't the worst idea.
The smooth, soothing name Yasu is every bit as calming as it sounds.
The sweet boy name means "peaceful" or "quiet," and it can actually be used for either gender.
While the name Yuuki might sound like a girls name to most English speakers, it's more commonly used as a boys name in Japan.
It can be written using several different kanji, but the most popular combination means "gentle hope."
It can also mean "bravery and confidence."