Names in Hiragana?

When I was learning about Katakana, one of it’s usages was said to be for names. Does this apply only for non-japanese names? I mean a person’s name.

I’ve seen japanese people (especially online, like on Mastodon) have hiragana names. Or are those named after japanese words that I don’t know yet? Like english speakers would give theirselves nicknames derived from words? Like PizzaBoy9000? :smiley: (wow, I’m really bad at naming things)

I think I’m fundamentally asking: How does naming work (kana/kanji-wise) in Japanese pop and online culture?

Official Hiragana names exist for Japanese people, so it does not necesserily mean nicknames. Katakana is used for all kinds of names, be it names for foreigners, food, biological topics like animals, etc.

Just like foreigners fancy Kanji names (for like social media), some Japanese people fancy Kana. I heard one Japanese person call a Katakana name cool. Some of my Twitter friends even use Arabic for their names.

There are no rules. Especially in written media, you can have a Kanji name with custom reading (usually with Furigana once a chapter). The same way that there are no rules outside of Japan for nicknames.

You can see trends, like the aforementioned Katakana. Some Twitter folks also add a tag to their names to show their interest or location like this totally made up name: “タカシ@AE86”.


Foreign names are generally rendered in katakana. Japanese names most typically have kanji, but they don’t have to, and when they don’t they can be in hiragana. And of course, the readings for kanji names are usually written in hiragana. Really, any name can be rendered in any of the 3 scripts if the person wants it to be that way. There are no actual rules.

EDIT: And with regard to your last sentence question, when online people obviously do even weirder stuff than they would typically dare to on a birth certificate.

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Interesting thing - I don’t know if this is an all across japan thing, but I was speaking with a Japanese female friend of mine. I had only ever seen her name in hiragana and so I asked “what are your name’s kanji?” she showed me them, but then said “I barely ever use them, and neither do most women I know - my sister, my mom, and basically all my female friends just use hiragana typically”. So perhaps it’s a more feminine thing to use hiragana? I have a similar pretty thing - I have kanji for my name that I was given by my friend based on how my name is pronounced but I typically just use katakana because I’m a foreigner.

Yes there are.

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