List Lists: Big risers in Japan (boys)


Today, I am introducing to you a new segment on this blog where I list out names that fit into a certain category. On this blog post, we look at boy names that have made it big in Japan in recent decades – in other words, the boy names that would more likely belong to a young boy than a young man.

In order for a name (in this case, a name determined by sound) to appear on this list, its most popular variant must be used by more than 0.05% of all boys recorded in the data source for 2009 and that all of the variants (in the top 1000) combined account for more than 0.1% for the same year. Also, the percentage change between the total for 2009 and 1991 must be over 5,000%.
Note 1: some of the kanji (combinations) shown below are not located in the top 1000 for 2009.
Note 2: since the name data only includes individual kanji readings (with the addition of hiragana/katakana readings that appear there), the results will be affected by the way people choose which kanji belongs to any name group.

  • Aoto – can come from 蒼 “blue, pale,” 碧 “blue, green” or 葵 “hollyhock” combined with 斗, referring to the Chinese “Dipper” constellation, 翔 “fly, soar,” 人 “person,” 登 “ascend, climb up” or 叶 “answer, grant”
  • Eita – can come from 瑛 “crystal” combined with 太 “big around, plump, thick,” 大 “big, large,” 汰 “luxury” or 多 “frequent, many”
  • Haruto –  can come from 陽 “sunshine,” 遥 “distand, far off,” 晴 “clear up” or 春 “spring(time)” combined with kanji that can be read as to (see Aoto)
  • Kanata – can be used as 奏 “play music” combined with combined with kanji that can be read as ta (see Eita)
  • Kanato – same as Kanata but combined with kanji that can be read as to (see Aoto)
  • Kotarō – can be used as 琥 “jewelled utensil” or 虎 “tiger” combined with 太/汰 (see Eita) and 郎 “son” or 朗 “bright, clear”
  • Minato – can be used as 湊 “harbour” (optionally, can be combined with kanji that can be read as to (see Aoto))
  • Rento – can be used as 蓮 “lotus” combined with kanji that can be read as to (see Aoto)
  • Sōma – can be used as 颯 “quick, sudden,” 蒼 (see Aoto), 壮 “prosperity, robust,” 奏 (see Kanata), 聡 “wise,” 宗 “essence, origin” or 創 “genesis, originate, start” combined with 真 “true” (眞, the outdated variant may also be used) or 馬 “horse”
  • Sōsuke – can be used with kanji that can be read as (see Sōma) combined with 介 “mediate,” 佑 “assist, help,” 祐, 亮 or 輔 “help”
  • Yuito – can be used as 結 “bind, fasten, tie” or 唯 “simply” combined with kanji that can be read as to (see Aoto)
  • Yuzuki – can be used as 悠 “leisure” or 優 “gentleness” combined with 月 “moon” (alternatively, 柚, referring to the yuzu, a type of citrus fruit, combined with 希 “hope, pray, request” or 輝 “shine, sparkle”)

Which of these names do you like? Post your thoughts in the comments section below the sources.

Data – Namae Jiten:
Dictionary – Jisho:


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