In Japanese Anime shows, manga, or books, Kanji names often contain some information to explain the characters. But those things get usually lost in translation.

Today I share what Japanese people can notice about 2 sets of duo in “Haikyu!!”.

Hinata Shoyo and Kageyama Tobio

meaning of kanji name in anime

Hinata Shouyou(Shoyo)日向 翔陽 and Kageyama Tobio 影山 飛雄 are the main characters of Haikyu!!. Many people will think “These two are in contrast.” when they watch this show…and YES they are!

Hinata’s family name “日向” means “Sunny Place”. On the other hand, Kageyama is “影山”, which means “Shadow Mountain”. I can imagine the happy bright sunlight and the dark side of the mountain together. lol

meaning of kanji name in anime

Sunshine like Hinata’s personality is in contrast to the stressful Kageyama who is not good at socializing.

By the way, both of their first names, “翔陽(Shouyou)” and “飛雄(Tobio)”, contain the “Fly” related kanji.

meaning of kanji name in anime

翔 is the very popular kanji for boys name today, and it means “Fly high in the sky”. 陽 means “Sunlight”. A modern and refreshing name reminiscent of a clear sky.

“Tobio” sounds way more old fashioned name compared to the name “Shouyou”. 飛 means “Fly”, and 雄 means “Manly” here.

They are a good combination!

Azumane Asahi and Nishinoya Yuu

meaning of kanji name in animemeaning of kanji name in anime

Azumane Asahi 東峰 旭 is an ace attacker(Wing Spiker) and Nishinoya Yuu 西谷 夕 is a Libero for the main high school’s volleyball team.

Their personalities are very opposite: Asahi is always nervous and negative but Nishinoya is bold and positive.

meaning of kanji name in anime
Here is my Kanji shirt boy! lol (Nishinoya loves them.)

Plus, their names are very paired.

Asahi’s last name Azumane is “東(East) 峰(Peak)” in Japanese kanji, and Nishinoya is “西(West) 谷(Valley)”.

Asahi’s first name is 旭 in Japanese kanji, but the word “Asahi” can be written as “朝日”, which means “Morning Sun”. On the other hand, Nishinoya’s first name Yuu 夕 means “Evening”.

meaning of kanji name in anime

I imagine the sun rises from the peak of the mountain in East and it goes down to the valley in West.

They are also a good combination!


The author completed the manga “Haikyu!!”  last month(July, 2020). I can’t wait for next season of anime! (*’▽’)☆


Today’s Kanji Shirt is the “Strongest(最強)”! Yes, they should wear this shirt to motivate themselves.

Japanese Kanji shirt "Strongest"

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!

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  1. I love your Haikyu analyses! Please do more names if you think any others are a good match. I’d personally love to know what each of their names mean.

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