Japanese kanji meanings and culture

Hello, Kanji Fans! We see many Kanji names in Japanese books and shows. Then sometimes those name contains a lot of meanings, and even they may related to the secret of the story.

Today, I’d like to share an interesting question from a follower about giving an original Japanese kanji name!

My friend and I are writing a web-novel. We’ve been trying to name our four main characters in the story using proper Kanji and pronunciation. We know many of these names are probably not normal Japanese names. If you have a moment, we’d appreciate your assistance. 

Cool! You are writing a web-novel! (*’▽’)☆

OK, let me take a look at your ideas of the Kanji names.

The first character is the male lead.
富先, 倍秘
We guessed pronounced
Tomisaki, Masuhi
We were going for the meaning
Future wealth, Double Secret
This is a play on the fact that his wealth comes from future technologies, and he has a secret double life.

The second character is a female lead
宅混, Amelia
Takuma, Amelia
She is a half Japanese, half American girl that grew up in America and came to work in Japan. Her last name is supposed to mean mixed home, to indicate her heritage.

Third character is the younger sister of the male lead.
富先, 純子
Tomisaki, Junko
Same last name, first name is to mean Pure/innocent child

Fourth character is the friend of the female lead.
義友, 章乃
Yoshitomo, Akino
Her last name is to mean loyal/righteous friend. Her first name is a joke on her personality. She’s extremely lazy and unmotivated, while her first name is to mean self-discipline.

Nice! You guys are doing awesome!

Top: Hiragana / Bottom: Katakana

First of all, “Amelia” can be written in Japanese Katakana script. It will be アメリア(a-me-ri/li-a) or アミリア(a-mi-ri/li-a). She has Kanji last name, so audience can notice she has Japanese father.

“宅混” doesn’t look natural as a Japanese family name, but I think it’s acceptable as fiction character’s last name. Takuma sounds great as a Japanese family name by the way.

Other 2 girls’ names are very very good!

So, let me talk about the lead male’s name from this point. (‘ω’)ノ

The Original Japanese Kanji Last Name

“Tomisaki” sounds very natural as a Japanese family name to me. In fact, the last name 富崎(Tomisaki) exists.

富 (tomi: Wealth) + 先 (saki: former, future)

I understand why you chose “先” for his last name on purpose. But personally 富先 feels like “The Wealth comes first.(富が先。)”. The meanings of the kanji 先 definitely contains “future” though. Hmmm.

I think 富先 is very good! However, here is a suggestion from KansaiChick.(*´Д`)/

How about… 富来 (Tomirai)? It’s a last name that I made up.

The last name 富来(Tomiki) exists in real life, but any Japanese people know that “富来” can be pronounced “Tomirai” also.

The meaning of 富来 can be “富(Wealth) + 来(Come)”. 富が来る(The wealth comes.) Plus, here is the key! The word “Tomirai” contains the sound “mirai”, which means “future(未来: mirai)” clearly and specifically in Japanese.

Needless to say, this is just a suggestion. So, you don’t have to change his last name!

Japanese kanji name

The Original Japanese Kanji First Name

Next! Let’s talk about his first name.

倍秘(Masuhi) is very uncommon name that may not exist in Japan. It’s a little tough for Japanese people to pronounce, plus it doesn’t sound like a person’s name. These kanji also don’t look like person’s name somehow. Hmmm….

But this novel is fiction, so 倍秘 is actually fine! The authors’ decision is everything.

However, his sister’s name 純子 is very very common. So, you may want to change his name to something more natural as a Japanese boy.

Let me see…. (←I’ve been thinking about his name for 10 days after this. lol)

Here is a sample name that I made up. 秘重(Yasushige) can be a choice. It sounds very natural as a Japanese boy’s name and this kanji combination reminds us “秘密を重ねる。(He has more than one secret./He is a holder of secrets.)”.

The meanings of 重 contains “overlap”, and it’s very common kanji that is  used for boy’s name. It helps making his name more natural. Usually it’s pronounced “shige” in boy’s name.

They say we can pronounce 秘 “yasu” when it’s a part of a kanji name. Other ways to read 秘, don’t work well in the name.  But also it’s not easy to read even for Japanese people. I can’t come up with other kanji to replace though…. (+_+)


Please refer to it and keep enjoying your writing!


Today’s Kanji Shirt is “Genius”! You guys are! (*’▽’)/

Funny Japanese kanji shirt "Genius"

If you want to know the meanings of any Japanese kanji that you don’t see English subs for in a particular animation or live action movie, tell me “Name of the Show”, “Season and Episode #” and “the Exact Moment (Minute: Second) if it’s available”!

If it’s just Japanese kanji that you see around you, like a shop sign or a tattoo, you can send me the photo as long as you are allowed to take picture of it.

I can’t promise to reply to everyone but I’ll try my best!

Email to: info@kansaichick.com

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