Japanese Language Blog

What is Japanese Kira Kira names? Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Culture


Recently I came across this article that discussed about the most popular “Kira kira  names (きらきら ネーム)” for 2015.  I was surprised to find out how the popular baby names have changed in recent years in Japan. If you are not familiar with Kira Kira names, these are names that sound totally different from traditional Japanese names, they literally mean “twinkly” and “shiny.”  Most of these names are names of popular characters from animation, manga, movies and games. Kanji’s applied to these names are almost forced to be pronounced in certain ways even though each of the character is never to be pronounced in that way. This is called, “Ateji(当て字、あてじ)” that are Kanji’s phonetically to represent native or borrowed words without regard to the underlying meaning of the characters.

People in Japan often name their children based on the “hope” or “wish” that they want their children to carry on. Traditionally each name has its own special meaning given by their parents. Names are not just the way it sounds, it goes deeper in that it always reflects love of their parents.

In my opinion, these Kira kira names that were popular for 2015 all sound like they were just put together because they sound “popular” or “cool” influenced by famous characters, etc. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is any parents out there who doesn’t care about their children, so there must be some meaning associated with each name.

Here are the 2015 most popular Kira kira names.

*Keep in mind that English name for each name below is actually how it is pronounced in “Japanese”.


1位「皇帝」(しいざあなど) – Caesar

2位「星凛」(あかり、きらり)- Akari, Kirari

3位「愛翔」(らぶはなど)- Loveha

4位「煌人」(きらと、あきと)- Kirato, Akito

5位「永恋」(えれん)- Ellen

6位「空蒼」(くう、あせい)- Khu, Asei

7位「愛莉」(らぶりなど)- Lovely


9位「碧空」(みらんなど)- Miran

10位「七海」(まりんなど) -Marin

Source: http://news.livedoor.com/article/detail/10852553/

The first one, Ceaser is the one caught my eyes. It sounds so unique in that it doesn’t sound like Japanese name at all.


I found some of other Kira kira names that are totally unusual. Check these out..

主人公(ひーろー)- Hero

弥有二(みゅうつー)-Mutu (Yes, Pokemon character)

誕生(ばーす)- Birth

愛人(はあと)- Heart

白雪(ひめ)- Hime

大賀寿(たいがーす)- Tigars

聖闘(せいんと)- Saint


渉愛人(ふぁいと)- fight

初珠(うぃっしゅ)- Wish


I am not sure how many of Japanese kids out there actually have these names, but they are totally unique.  Do you like these names for your babies?

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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.