Figuring out my Japanese name in Kanji?


I’m Turkish, and my second name is literally two words stuck together meaning ‘polite’ and ‘son’. Is it possible to come up with a kanji version of my name? Can I search Japanese name kanjis by meaning and put together something similar?
Just thought this would be an interesting thing to do because a good deal of names in other languages can also have a meaning just like in Japanese, and you know, I think it actually makes sense the kanji in names aren’t read the same way as kanji in a practical sense, just like how names in England and other european countries are derived from old words that aren’t used anymore.


Yes it is! Japanese names typically consist of kanji as you know, and the kanji are usually chosen based on the meanings associated with them. So things like kanji with positive attributes (like “kindness”, “noble”), pertaining to nature (like cherry blossoms, snow), etc, that type of thing

The kanji can be read in 4 different ways: by the kun’yomi (native readings), on’yomi (Chinese-derived readings), nanori (name readings), or can be made up by the person doing the naming

So you could essentially find characters you’d like to use for your name and then assign the readings to it as you wish, which can be represented by hiragana or katakana – more traditional families are more likely to stick to traditional readings of names, but it’s become more and more popular in modern Japanese society to assign your own readings to the kanji, so it’s definitely doable ^^

If you’re interested in reading about how Japanese names work, you can read more about it here

Good luck and have fun with it! :slightly_smiling_face:


Ah, so that’s what nanori means! I was wondering what it meant after seeing it in some odd places. Thanks for filling me in, it’s an interesting subject to me :blush:


No problem! I was shocked too when I figured out what 名乗り readings were – some of the kanji here on WK also have nanori reading info along with the kun’yomi and on’yomi for the characters on the kanji’s page ^^


I’m interested in doing this too, but for my given name, because my given name contains an L, I want to adopt a Japanese pseudonym, So I’m researching the meaning of my name from its original language, which I believe is Greek, and trying to find Kanji related to that meaning. Thanks for the insight MissMisc.


I like to use behindthename, it’s generally worked pretty well for me:


If you are not going for a direct translation, I would say 孝 (こう) filial piety/respect for your parents is a common component in Japanese male names, and being polite to your parents is a good idea.

I don’t know if “son” is used literately, a common way to name sons is just to number them. So your name would be 孝一 (こういち), 孝二/孝次 (こうじ) and so on.

Another way is just to slap 太郎 at something, so 孝太郎 (こうたろう).


Oh god… I… I’m kouichi? I can’t deal with this kind of responsibility and perceived awesomeness :exploding_head: