So the first few days of our project has been spent listening, mostly. We’ve slowly been trying to “Japanify” our life as much as possible and have so far watched トライガン (Trigun) in it’s entirety without subtitles, as well as listened to several radio talk shows for hours on end. We even listened to spoken Japanese while we slept! We’ve both had a dreams where we were trying to form actual sentences based on what we knew, which wasn’t much, but it’s a start!

But the first thing we did while all this was going on, and we feel this is important, was to choose a Japanese name. Why? Because if you’re trying to “be Japanese” and emulate a Japanese environment, why on earth would you call each other by foreign names?

If you were to head over to Japan on an exchange, in most cases you’d end up adopting a Japanese name, or at least a surname. We felt that choosing Japanese names for ourselves would help us take the project (and ourselves) more seriously. We felt a bit silly at first, calling each other by our new names, but in time we’ll grow comfortable with it and it will feel familiar. Just as the rest of the Japanese language will.

Of course, if you’re doing this project alone, you don’t need to choose a name. Heck, you don’t even need to choose a name period. But what if you want to start communicating with Eiji and I? Wouldn’t you love to have a name (or nickname) to represent this new Japanese you? (We’ve even gone so far as to start calling our cats by new names!)

If you don’t, that’s all right! But in case you do, we’re compiling a list of current Japanese names. When you search for Japanese names using English search engines, unfortunately all the sites have old and outdated names. (I know because I had originally picked Kimiko as my name because it held the same meaning as my English name, but then I found out only Japanese women in their 50s and 60s really have the name anymore! Whoops!) So, after trudging through Japanese baby name sites and lists using our elementary understanding of Japanese, we’re providing a list so you don’t have to!

Please keep in mind that we’re beginners and this is an attempt at learning kanji and sharing, so there’s bound to be mistakes. Please double check our kanji meanings (or triple check) if you feel the need when deciding a name. If you see any corrections or have any additions to make, feel free to email us at kanjiandtea [at] gmail [dot] com!

We’ll add to the lists (daily) as we go! So here we GO!

Japanese Names

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6 Responses to What’s In A Namae?

  1. Delphine says:

    What a cute idea! I don’t really have a “partner” per say in my Japanese studies, so I’ve just stuck with the katakanazation of my name (which Japanese people have *such* a hard time pronouncing haha). But nicknames are definitely a good idea, especially for pets and stuff~

    Good luck with your Japanese journey! ^_^

  2. […] myself to a domain I am showing myself how serious I was about learning this language. (Just like choosing a name.) Obviously I’m not saying you need to have this to learn Japanese in any way! I’m […]

  3. Burrito says:

    I give my pets nicknames so often as it is, what could another one hurt!

    I usually just go by a basic katakanafication as well, but I’m lucky to have a name that’s easy to convert/pronounce (コリン/Colin). The downside is that I think its Japanese pronunciation sounds way too… well, effeminate. I’ve considered kanjifying it to something that looks a bit more beefy, but that’s something that would take a lot of thought and might be too cumbersome depending on the kanji I choose. So, katakana for now it is!

    Sounds like you guys are off to a great start. Keep at it, and keep it fun!

    • says:

      I’m the same way! Sometimes I’m surprised by all the new ones that come out of my mouth! Our oldest cat is named “Morn”, but he’s huge and I shamefully admit I call him “fatty” or “tubber” sometimes, but with all the affection in the world, I assure you! We thought nick-naming him Kujira was appropriately hilarious. (As well as a play on Godzilla.) “KUUUUUJIIIIIRAAAA!!”

      And the second we just couldn’t change. “Pampukin” is just far too fun to say.

  4. Cosmo says:

    I love the idea of having a Japanese name. I think that was one of my favorite things about foreign language classes in school. I was always Claudia in Italian class and Veronique in French class. I am curious how you chose your names in more detail without knowing much Japanese. I feel like the only ones I know are names from dramas I have been watching.

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