100 japanese last names that work as first names

101 Japanese Last Names That Work as First Names

Japanese last names should appeal to parents with Japanese heritage as first name possibilities. You might be trying to find the perfect Japanese name for your child or you could just be interested in Japanese naming culture, either way, you’ve come to the right place! The history behind these last names is fascinating as it relates to the clan system that was once prevalent!

In ancient Japan, clans were categorized using the Kabane system, which determined each clan’s political and societal place in the hierarchy. As that system faded and names simply referred to members of the same household, Japanese last names became less indicative of class and place and more about a storied past. As with most Asian naming cultures, Japanese last names and their meanings can vary depending on the specific kanji used to construct the name. We will provide you with a typical meaning for each, but please understand, that it’s not set in stone! Let’s discover some potential baby names for your family!

Check Out These Japanese Last Names and Their Meanings!

Japanese Last Names That Start with A

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Abe – The 25th most common Japanese surname, meaning “peace multiple times”
  • Abiko – Meaning “my grandson” 
  • Agawa – Meaning “corner of a river” 
  • Aikawa – Meaning “love” and “stream” 
  • Ando – The 68th most popular surname in Japan, meaning “peaceful east” 
100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Ageda – Meaning “northern rice field” 
  • Arai – Meaning “new home” 
  • Aoki – Meaning “blue tree” 
  • Adachi – Meaning “foot” and “stand” 
  • Akiyama – Meaning “autumnal mount” 

Japanese Last Names that Start with B

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Beppu – Meaning “separate borough” 
  • Baishō – Meaning “double compensation” 
  • Bando – Meaning “east side of the slope” 
  • Baba – Meaning “race track” 
  • Bushida – Meaning “Samurai” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with C

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Chiba – The 94th most popular Japanese last name today, meaning “a thousand leaves” 
  • Chikafuji – Meaning “of wisteria” 
  • Chinen – Meaning “a thousand years” 
  • Chatan – Meaning “from Chatan” 
  • Chida – Meaning “thousand” and “ricefield”

Japanese Last Names That Start with D

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Doi – Meaning “earth home” 
  • Date – Meaning “gallantry” 
  • Daigo – Meaning “great enlightenment” 
  • Demachi – Meaning “exit town” 
  • Dobashi – Meaning “earth bridge” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with E

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Ehara – Meaning “creek” and “original” 
  • Eda – Meaning “branch” 
  • Ebina – Meaning “sea” and “old man” and “distinguished” 
  • Endō – Meaning “far wisteria” 
  • Emoto – Meaning “design” and “book” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with F

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Fuji – The 49th most popular Japanese surname today, meaning “of wisteria” 
  • Fujikura – Meaning “of wisteria” and “cellar” 
  • Fueki – Meaning “wooden flute” 
  • Fukuda – Meaning “blessed rice field” 
  • Fukushima – Meaning “blessed island” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with G

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Gato – Meaning “behind wisteria” 
  • Goda – Meaning “village rice paddy” 
  • Gomi – Meaning “five” and “flavor” 
  • Goto – The 33rd most popular Japanese surname, meaning “go back to wisteria” 
  • Gamō – Meaning “flag” and “genuine” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with H

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Hamasaki – Meaning “beach peninsula” 
  • Hagimoto – The 24th most popular surname in Japan, meaning “bush clover” and “present” 
  • Honda – Meaning “original rice field” 
  • Hada – Meaning “wings” and “rice paddy” 
  • Haku – Meaning “white” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with I

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Ishioka – Meaning “stone mount” 
  • Ibuki – Meaning “brave” and “to blow” 
  • Ikeda – The 26th most popular Japanese surname today, meaning “rice paddy near lake” 
  • Ito – The 6th most popular surname in Japan, meaning “eastern Izu” 
  • Isaka – Meaning “that one” and “hill” 

Japanese Last Names that Start with K

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Kimura – The 18th most popular Japanese surname, meaning “tree village” 
  • Kobayashi – The 9th most popular Japanese surname today, meaning “little forest” 
  • Kutsuki – Meaning “rotten tree” 
  • Kato – Meaning “increase” and “wisteria” 
  • Kiyama – Meaning “tree mountain” 

More Japanese Last Names That Start with K

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Kikuchi – A top 50 Japanese surname today, meaning “chrysanthemum pod” 
  • Kakizaki – Meaning “oyster” and “promontory”
  • Kaku – Meaning “beautiful black stone” 
  • Kameda – Meaning “tortoise” and “rice paddy” 
  • Kawazu – Meaning “river haven”

Japanese Last Names That Start with M

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Masaki – Meaning “correct” and “tree” 
  • Matsumoto – The 15th most popular Japanese surname, meaning “base of the pine” 
  • Machi – Meaning “true happiness” 
  • Miki – Meaning “beautiful chronicle” 
  • Maeda –  The 34th most popular Japanese surname, meaning “previous rice field” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with N

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Nakamura – The 8th most popular Japanese last name today, meaning “middle village”
  • Nishikawa – Meaning “western river” 
  • Nakaya – Meaning “between the valley” 
  • Nakajima – Meaning “middle island” 
  • Nomura – Meaning “wilderness” and “village”

RELATED: 25 Cute Japanese Names for Boys

Japanese Last Names That Start with O

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Okazaki – Meaning “split rock” 
  • Ono – The 22nd most popular Japanese surname, meaning “small field” 
  • Ogawa – The 30th most popular Japanese last name, meaning “small river” 
  • Okada – A top 50 Japanese last name, meaning “hill rice paddy” 
  • Otsuka – Meaning “large bundle” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with S

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Sugimoto – Meaning “from beneath the cedars” 
  • Sasaki – Meaning “assistant” 
  • Sato – The most popular Japanese surname belonging to over two million people! Sato means “sugar”  
  • Saito – A top 10 Japanese surname today, meaning “purity” and “worship” 
  • Suzuki – The second most popular Japanese surname, meaning “bell wood” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with T

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Takao – Meaning “warrior” 
  • Tachi – Meaning “palace” 
  • Tanaka – The third most popular Japanese last name, meaning “center of rice paddy” 
  • Takahashi – The fifth most popular surname, meaning “high bridge” 
  • Torii – Meaning “bird abode” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with U

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Uchimura – Meaning “inside village” 
  • Uda – Meaning “heaven” and “rice paddy” 
  • Ueki – Meaning “planted tree” 
  • Ueno – Meaning “upper field” 
  • Usui –  Meaning “mortar well” 

Japanese Last Names That Start with W

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Wakamatsu – Meaning “young pine tree” 
  • Watanabe – Meaning “to cross over a river” 
  • Wada – Meaning “harmonious rice paddy” 
  • Wakasa – Meaning “young bloom” 
  • Wakabayashi – Meaning “young forest” 

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Japanese Last Names That Start with Y

100 japanese last names that work as first names
  • Yamada – Meaning “mountain field” 
  • Yoshida – Meaning “lucky rice paddy” 
  • Yogi – Meaning “yoga practitioner” 
  • Yoshino – Meaning “lucky field”
  • Yoshikawa – Meaning “lucky river”
  • Yamamoto – The seventh most popular Japanese surname, meaning “base of the mountain”

There you go! We hope you feel inspired by these Japanese last names and will consider using any of them as a first name for your baby. By choosing a traditional surname, you can honor your heritage and later use your child’s name as a gateway to learning about her/his/their Japanese heritage. Whatever you land on, happy baby name hunting and congratulations!

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