Popularity of names in Japan, (most of) 2017

Japan 2017

I had made my predictions a while ago regarding what the top 5 Japanese baby names of 2017 would look like. Did I get them right? Let’s find out.

Using data from Tamahiyo and Meiji Yasuda Life (but not Cookpad Baby this time around), here are the top 5 names (by sound) in Japan when combining data from these two companies to form an aggregate survey:


Rank Name/Kana Number Percentage Rank change
1 Haruto/はると 456 2.650% 0
2 Sōta/そうた 341 1.982% 0
3 Yūto/ゆうと 320 1.860% 0
4 Haruki/はるき 278 1.616% 0
5 Riku/りく 210 1.220% +1


1 Yui/ゆい 269 1.624% +2
2 Akari/あかり 244 1.473% +2
3 Sakura/さくら 233 1.407% -1
4 Mei/めい 232 1.401% +4
5 Koharu/こはる 225 1.359% +1

Regarding the top 5 boy names, the top 4 name did stay their places, as predicted, but Riku replaced Sōsuke as the 5th most popular boy name, not Aoi or Minato.

When I saw the combined top 5 girl names, I was in shock to see that they look completely different from my predictions. To go over my failures (and one or two successes) in order:

  • I predicted Hana to stay as the top girl name but then that name just had to leave the top 5 instead and Yui actually rose to become the top girl name in her place.
  • I predicted Sakura to remain in 2nd place but then she dropped down a place while Akari jumps up to claim 2nd place, not 3rd as I had predicted.
  • I predicted Rio to leave the top 5 and she did, but with Hana leaving the top 5 as well, that meant two new names need to come up, not one. I predicted Koharu to enter the top 5, though it was a less likely contender than Aoi which, sadly, did not enter the top 5. Even so, I did get the Koharu part right in a way, but I did not see Mei bouncing relatively high up to claim 4th place.

Some new names that entered the Tamahiyo top 100 (by writing) to note down include Nagi (凪), Yūshin (優心), Yudzuki (悠月), Rihito (理人), Kaoru (薫) and Taisei (大晴) for the boys and Yuno (悠乃), Haru (晴), Suzu (鈴), Fūka (風花), Yuiko (結子) and Riho (莉帆) for the girls.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave them in the comments section below the sources.

Sources (both in Japanese):
Tamahiyo – https://st.benesse.ne.jp/namae/
Meiji Yasuda Life – http://www.meijiyasuda.co.jp/enjoy/ranking/


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