Japanese Names for Dogs and Their Meanings

Japan is known for many aspects of the industry today. Technological advancement is one of Japan’s greatest assets when it comes to the development of the modern world. But Japan is also a place where rich culture can be seen. One of the parts of Japan’s culture includes dogs or inu.

Dogs have a good share of the culture and tradition in the history of Japan. They are symbolic in the early times and some prioritized dog protection during the conflict. Also, dogs are used negatively by giving it as a trait of someone who lived a worthless and empty life. Dogs in Japan today can also be regarded as cute animals or trained, fearless one or both.

A famous Japanese story, “Hachiko,” is one of the best supports to the fact that dogs love and should be loved by humans. Hachiko is a dog who had waited for his owner’s return from the Shibuya Station for over nine years. Pure love and loyalty for his master is what made him patiently wait for him.

Culture and history of dogs in Japan play an essential role in making us realize how we treat dogs over time, and one of these is by how they give a dog’s name. Japanese names for dogs have immense meaning behind them. Being deep with feelings comprises one Japanese name.

Some names are connected to nature, some are connected to Japanese history, while some are connected to people and their experience. No matter where the name is connected to, we cannot deny the fact that Japanese names have breathtaking meaning behind these.

Meaning of Some Japanese Dog Terms / Historical Names

Shiba Inu is a Japanese Dog which connects the words “Shiba” meaning “brushwood” while “Inu” meaning “dog.” Shiba Inu is sometimes called “The Brushwood Dog” due to its meaning. It is one of Japan’s breed of hunting dogs. Shiba Inu is a fearless and confident dog and also cute and charming at the same time. It is also a dog which can climb mountains easily, that may lead to its hunting abilities.

Hachiko is a dog that was born in Akita Prefecture in Japan and brought to Tokyo, Japan to be a professor’s pet. This dog is famous for being a loyal and faithful dog because of his patience in waiting for his master to return from the Shibuya Station every day. Until one day, he did not realize that his master died and still waited for his return at the station.

Everywhere dogs are always unique, and Japan is no exception. The Japanese people always had unique traditions for dogs because dogs have excellent significance for the whole nation and its people.

Japanese names are also one of those parts which give special meaning to dogs.

Common Japanese Names for Dogs and Their Meanings

  • Akiko– It is a combination of the words Aki, which has some variety of meanings, including “Bright” and “Sparkle,” and Ko meaning “Child.”
  • Aoi– Some refer it to the color green, while some refer it to the color blue.
  • Asami– Depending on how it is written, it can mean “Morning Beauty” or “Sea.”
  • Aya– It is a common name for female meaning “Beautiful,” “Colorful,” and it can also refer to “Design.”
  • Chibi– It is referred to as “Something Short” when a thing is defined as either an animal or a person.
  • Cho– In Japanese, it is referred to as a “Butterfly.”
  • Daisuke- It is a combination of the words Dai meaning “Great” and Suke meaning “Help.”
  • Hana– It refers to the word “Flower.”
  • Haru– This word means “Spring” season.
  • Haruki– It is also a combination of words Haru and Ki. Haru means “Light” and “Sun,” while Ki means “brightness.”
  • Hikaru– It refers to a “Radiant Light” or to a verb “To shine.”
  • Hinata– It means “Sunny place,” which also means “towards the sun.”
  • Hiromi– The word means “Generous beauty.” Hiro can mean many things like generous, deep, great, and prosperous.
  • Hiroshi– Some kanji writings give the meaning to this word as “Tolerant,” “Prosperous,” and “Generous.”
  • Hotaru– This word refers to the “Firefly.”
  • Izumi– This word can either mean “Fountain” or “spring” depending on the writing.
  • Katsu– The word in kanji means a “Victory” or “Win.”
  • Katsumi– This word also has various meanings depending on the kanji. Some writing denotes this as “Victory beauty” and “winning beauty” while the other meaning may be “overcome oneself.”
  • Kazumi– It can mean beautiful harmony and peace. Kazu means “peace” or “harmony,” while the word mi means beautiful.
  • Kenta– This is a combination of the words Ken meaning “Strong” and “healthy” while Ta means “Thick.”
  • Kichiro– This word refers to a “Fortunate Son” or “Lucky Son” in the family.
  • Kimi– A simple word is referring to “You.”
  • Kiyoshi– It is a word referring to “Pure” or “Purity” depending on what kanji is used.
  • Manami– The word denotes Beautiful Love, Sea or Ocean. The word Mana means “Love” while the word Mi can vary through the words “beautiful” and “sea or ocean.”
  • Michi– This word means “Path” or “Way.”
  • Miyu– Various kanji characters refer to it as “Gentle Truth” or “Beautiful Evening.”
  • Miyuki– The meaning of this word also varies, but some kanji refer to this as “Beautiful Happiness” or “Beautiful Fortune.”
  • Noboru– This means that one is “to ascend” or “to rise.”
  • Ren– Some kanji writings refer to it as “Love” while others refer to it as “Lotus.”
  • Sachiko– It refers to the one that brings “Happiness” or the “Child of bliss.”
  • Saki– This refers to the sake in Japan, an alcohol that is made through fermented rice.
  • Satomi– As kanji refers to the word Sato as “Hometown” and to the word Mi as “Beauty” or “Beautiful.”
  • Seto– One meaning to this word is “Door,” and another is “Strait.” The word Se may also mean “rapids” and “shallows.”
  • Sora– This word refers to the English word “Sky,” but it may also mean “gale” and “storm” in some other kanji writings.
  • Toshiko– It is a common word that means “Genius child” or “Clever Child.” Some other kanji characters denote it as “Graceful” or “Polite,” all referring to a child.
  • Yasu– Various kanji writings denote this word as “Peaceful,” and “Quiet” and some others mean this as “smooth” and “level.”
  • Yasushi– This may refer to as “Peaceful” and “Honest.” Some lead this word as “to protect and sustain.”
  • Yori– It is a word of comparison, using the word “Than.”
  • Yoshi– It is a word that means “Good Luck,” “Righteous,” “Respectable,” and “Virtuous.”
  • Yuki– This refers to a “Valuable reason or cause” and also means “Happiness” and “Snow.”


The Japanese writing system provides so many meanings to many words in today’s generation. These common names are those given such lovely meanings from some manner of writing like kanji, katakana, and hiragana.

Many of us believe that our dogs must have distinctive or unusual names, and if you want to have an idea of naming your new dog, it can assist you! There are so many classic names that we can name our pets, but this maybe if you want to give significance to the name of your dog. Japanese names are traditional in which there are deep meanings within these.

Today’s dog names are distinct based on the nation. Sometimes the style of naming a dog is based on experience or how you got your dog. Sometimes it’s based on what the dog’s appearance is. It will always be about how we name them, and it will always be about what we see on them. Anyway, names given to dogs always have emotions and meanings on them.

Japanese names are the perfect ones to pick from if you are finding a very meaningful name for your pet dog. Either a big one, a cute one, a tiny one, or a naughty one, you will be able to find a name for your pet. If you want to name them after the wonder of nature, you may also pick on one of them. Japanese names also sound very classical and traditional for many of us as Japan share their history to the whole world and the world appreciates it back.

Japan is a wonderful country to reside in, and its culture and traditions will surely come to your mind and amaze you. Japanese people value their history and celebrate it to the current day. Their traditions are so lovely that you might even want to explore them. These Japanese names are part of this tradition that provides us profound meanings and emotions as you go through them, and you will surely consider them as decisions for the name of your dog. Remember, your dog’s name goes with them forever in their lives, so think about it so well and make the right choice.

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