Most Popular Japanese Baby Names of 2014

Baby girl sleeping on bed
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Here is the list of the 10 most popular Japanese baby names of 2014. The names are ranked by popularity, with the most common pronunciation listed first (where applicable). Most kanji characters have several different readings, therefore the name can be read in several different ways.

In addition, since there are thousands of kanji to choose from, even the same name can usually be written using many different kanji combinations (some have more than 50 combinations).

Click this link to see how to write the girl's name "Keiko" using several different kanji combinations. Click here to learn more about Japanese names.

The names including the kanji character 陽, such as 陽向, 陽太, 朝陽, 陽菜 were popular for both boys and girls this year. As 陽 means "sun," parents wished their children to grow to be cheerful and spirited in spite of an uncertain economy. Also, since 2014 was the year of the horse, names including the kanji character for horse, such as 駿, 悠馬 became popular for boys. (People don't generally use the kanji character for horse for a girl's name.) As for girls’ names, the use of only one kanji character increased, especially when choosing names that are associated with a plant or nature, such as 桜 and 杏.

Boys

1.蓮 (レン) --- Ren
2.大翔 (ヒロト、ハルト、ヤマト、ソラ、タイガ、タイト) --- Hiroto, Haruto, Yamato, Sora, Taiga, Taito
3.陽向 (ヒナタ、ハルタ) --- Hinata, Haruta
4.陽太 (ヒナタ、ヨウタ、ハル タ) --- Hinata, Youta, Haruda
5.悠真 (ユウマ、ハルマ) --- Yuuma, Haruma
6.湊 (ミナト、カナデ、ソウ) --- Minato, Kanade, Sou
7.悠人 (ユウト、ハルト) --- Yuuto, Haruto
8.陸 (リク) --- Riku
9.駿 (シュン、ハヤト) --- Shun, Hayato
10.朝陽 (アサヒ) --- Asahi

Girls

1.陽菜 (ヒナ、ヒナタ、ハナ、ハルナ、アキナ、ヒナノ) --- Hina, Hinata, Hana, Haruna, Akina, Hinano​
2.凛 (リン) --- Rin
3.結菜 (ユナ、ユイナ、ユウナ) --- Yuna, Yuina, Yuuna
4.葵 (アオイ) --- Aoi
5.結愛 (ユア、 ユイナ、ユナ、ユメ) --- Yua, Yuina, Yuna, Yume
6.愛莉 (アイリ、メリ) --- Airi, Meri
7.美咲 (ミサキ) --- Misaki
8.結衣 (ユイ) --- Yui
9.桜 (サクラ、ハル) --- Sakura, Haru
10.凜 (リン) --- Rin
11.心春 (コハル) --- Koharu
12.杏 (アン、アンズ) --- An, Anzu
13.愛梨 (アイリ、エリ) --- Airi, Eri

Top 10 Popular Kanji used in baby names in 2014

Here is the top 10 popular kanji characters used for baby names in 2014 (by gender). You can see the Japanese tend to use a different set of kanji characters for a name depending on the gender. Click the following links to learn how to write each kanji character.

Boys

1.太
2.翔
3.大
4.陽
5.斗
6.悠
7.真
8.
9.琉
10.馬

Girls

1.
2.菜
3.​美
4.花
5.莉
6.結
7.奈
8.心
9.咲
10.

Here is an article by Asahi Shinbun analyzing the baby name trends of this year.

明治安田生命保険は1日、今年生まれた赤ちゃんの名前のランキングを発表した。一番多かったのは、男の子が「蓮」、女の子は「陽菜」「凛」だった。「蓮」の1位は2年ぶり4回目。「陽菜」も3年ぶり7回目だった。

同社の個人保険の契約者の子どもで、今年生まれた6754人の名前を集計。男女とも「陽」がついた名前が上位に入った。同社は「景気の面では先行きに対する不透明感が増しているが、明るく育って欲しいという気持ちが込められているのでは」と推測している。

女の子では「葵」など、漢字一字で、特に植物にちなむ名前が人気があった。今年は午(うま)年だったこともあり、去年55位だった「駿」が6位に入るなど、男の子では馬がつく名前も多かった。

Romaji Translation

Meiji yasuda seimei wa tsuitachi, kotoshi umareta akachan no namae no rankingu o happyou shita. Ichiban ookatta nowa, otoko no ko ga 蓮, onna no ko wa 陽菜,凛 datta. 蓮 no ichi-i wa ni-nen buri yonkaime. 陽菜 mo san-nen buri nanakaime datta.

Dousha no kojin hoken keiyakusha no kodomo de, kotoshi umareta rokusen nanahyaku gojuu yo-nin no namae o shuukei. Danjo tomo 陽 ga tsuita namae ga joui ni haitta. Dousha wa "keiki no men dewa sakiyuki ni taisuru futoumeikan ga mashiteiru ga, akaruku sodatte hoshii to iu kimochi ga komerareteiru no dewa" to suisoku shiteiru.

Onna no ko dewa 葵 nado, kanji ichiji de, tokuni shokubutsu ni chinamu namae ga ninki ga atta. Kotoshi wa umadoshi datta koto mo ari, kyonen gojuugo-i dattta 駿 ga roku-i ni hairu nado, otoko no ko dewa uma ga tsuku namae mo ookatta.

Vocabulary

kotoshi 今年 --- this year
umareta 生まれた --- born
akachan 赤ちゃん --- a bay
namae 名前 --- a name
rankingu ランキング --- ranking
ichiban 一番 --- the best
otoko no ko 男の子 --- a boy
onna no ko 女の子 --- a girl
keiyakusha 契約者 --- a contractor
kodomo 子供 --- a child
keiki 景気 --- the economy
sakiyuki 先行き --- the prospects; the outlook
futoumeikan 不透明 --- opacity, opaqueness
akaruku 明るく --- cheerfully
suisoku suru 推測する --- to guess
tokuni 特に --- especially
shokubutsu 植物 --- a plant
chinamu ちなむ --- be associated with
ninki ga aru 人気がある --- popular
umadoshi 馬年 --- the year of the horse