Japan Data

Haruto and Honoka: Japan’s Top 2020 Baby Names

Society Culture

Based on pronunciation, Haruto for boys and Honoka for girls were the most popular baby names in Japan in 2020.

A survey has revealed the top names for Japanese newborns in 2020. This includes a ranking for names in kanji, where we have provided the most common reading, and a ranking for the readings themselves. The top names in kanji were 蓮 (Ren) for boys and 陽葵 (Himari) for girls. In the most popular readings ranking Haruto came first for boys and Honoka top for girls. 

The survey, conducted by the baby and children’s goods retail chain Akachan Honpo, looked at names chosen for 18,617 boys and 18,199 girls born this year between January 1 and October 20. Other popular kanji names for boys in the top 10 included 陽翔 (Haruto), 湊 (Minato), 悠真 (Yūma), and 蒼 (Sō), while for girls 芽依 (Mei), 陽菜 (Hina), 結愛 (Yua), and 結菜 (Yūna) placed high.

By reading, after Haruto and Honoka, parents chose Minato, Haruki, Sōta, and Yūto for boys and Akari, Himari, Mei, and Ema for girls.

Most Popular Japanese Baby Names (Reading) in 2020

Boys Girls
1 Haruto (1) Honoka (-)
2 Minato (3) Akari (4)
3 Haruki (6) Himari (2)
4 Sōta (2) Mei (1)
5 Yūto (4) Ema (6)
6 Riku (7) Yui (3)
7 Yuito (5) Mio (5)
8 Aoto (9) Ichika (-)
9 Aoi (-) Aoi (8)
10 Hinata (-) Tsumugi (-)

Created by Nippon.com based on data from Akachan Honpo. The number in parentheses indicates the 2019 ranking.

Most Popular Japanese Baby Names (Kanji) in 2020

Boys Girls
Main Reading Main Reading
1 蓮 (1) Ren 陽葵 (1) Himari
2 陽翔(3) Haruto 芽依 (2) Mei
3 湊 (2) Minato 陽菜 (12) Hina
4 悠真 (8) Yūma 結愛 (6) Yua
5 蒼 (5) 結菜 (10) Yūna
6 樹 (5) Itsuki さくら (7) Sakura
7 大翔 (7) Hiroto あかり (18) Akari
8 颯 (16) 葵 (8) Aoi
9 大和 (9) Yamato 紬 (4) Tsumugi
10 湊斗 (10) Minato 莉子 (5) Riko
10 碧 (53) Aoi

Created by Nippon.com based on data from Akachan Honpo.

In 2019, the top three boys’ names were 蓮 (Ren), followed by 湊 (Minato), and 陽翔 (Haruto), while the top three for girls were 陽葵 (Himari), 芽依(Mei), and 凛 (Rin). The three most popular readings of kanji for boys’ names were Haruto, followed by Sōta, and Minato. For girls, Mei, Himari, and Yui were in the top three. Apart from the reading of Mei as a girl’s name, which was toppled by Honoka, the number one names in 2019 remained the same in 2020. The boys’ kanji name 蓮 (Ren) has topped the ranking eight times in the 16 surveys conducted since 2005.

When respondents were asked what points they considered when choosing a name, the top answer was the sound of the name (they thought of the pronunciation first). Next most popular was the meaning and image of the kanji (they thought of the kanji they wanted to use first), and the third most common point was the number of strokes used to write the name (their first concern was balancing the given name with the surname).

The company observed that the special circumstances this year with COVID-19 have had a big influence on choices too. Names associated with 太陽 (sun), 月 (moon), and 光 (light) were more popular, indicating a wish for brightness among all the dark news that has been happening.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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