Have you ever heard a Japanese word “キラキラネーム(kirakira-name)”? That is a new Japanese word that was born in last 2 decades. If I translate “キラキラネーム” somehow, I’ll say “Twinkling Names”.

Kirakira-names are unusual names like crazy unique word or abnormal pronunciation. And naming kid a Kirakira-name was a trend for a while.(not much anymore!)

Japanese kanji and kid's names

Kirakira Names in “Assassination Classroom”

The popular Japanese anime “Assassination Classroom” is known for showing this new generation culture “Kirakira Names”.

木村 正義 Kimura Jasuthisu (Justice Kimura)

The Japanese kanji “正義” means “Justice” in ENGLISH. However, usual Japanese pronunciation choices are only “Seigi (justice)” and “Masayoshi”. Masayoshi is very normal way to pronounce “正義” as boy’s name.

Jasuthisu doesn’t like his special pronunciation of his name because it doesn’t match the Japanese kanji and people think it’s a joke every time when they found out his name. Blame parents….

狭間 綺羅々 Hazama Kirara (Kirara Hazama)

Japanese kanji and kid's names

The Japanese word “キララ(kirara)” sounds like twinkle or something shiny. Just imagine, cute little stars, sparkly unicorn and princess’ dress…. That is perfect image of the name “Kirara”. Kirara Hazama says that is NOT her at all! Sorry, girl….

赤羽 業 Akabane Karuma (Karma Akabane)

The Japanese word “カルマ(karuma)” means “karma”. His parents decided to put a kanji “業” for that word but it’s their own way, so nobody can read it right without explanation!

However, Karuma likes his super unique name. Good job, parents…!!

Shocking Fact about Japanese Name and Kanji

Japanese kanji and kid's names

Did you notice the rule of Japanese naming and kanji? Actually, there are 2 shocking rules.

#1 You have a right to apply the own pronunciation.

The kanji 正義 can be read “Jasuthisu”. The kanji 業 can be read “Karuma”. Well, maybe you can’t get how shocking that is. So, just imagine something like this.

…”I name my son ‘Jack’ and its pronunciation is Mike!”

Now you get it? …Too much freedom…but the rule is rule. Each city office will decide whether to accept that name.

#2 There are kanjis not allowed to use for person’s names.

Hah? They have that much freedom but they can’t use all kanjis? Why? I don’t know much details but that is Japanese government’s decision.

So, sometimes people can’t name their kids what they want.


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

Email to: info@kansaichick.com