Japan Data

Himari and Ao: Japan’s Top 2023 Baby Names

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Japan’s soccer stars influenced the boys’ name ranking in 2023, while the cheerful, sunny associations of Himari kept it top of the list for girls.

An annual survey found the most popular names among babies born in Japan in 2023. In the ranking of names written in kanji, there may be several different readings; we have provided the most common ones. For girls, 陽葵 (Himari, Hinata, or Hina), which has cheerful associations with the sun and sunflowers (向日葵; himawari), was top for the second consecutive year. It has been among the names most commonly given to girls since the Reiwa era began in 2019 with Emperor Naruhito’s accession to the throne.

Japan’s men’s soccer team’s exploits in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar influenced the ranking for boys’ names, with 碧 (Ao or Aoi), which rose from thirteenth in 2021 to fourth in 2022, climbing to the top of the list in 2023; Tanaka Ao scored the winning goal in a memorable victory over Spain. Similarly, Dōan Ritsu’s goals against Spain and in another win against Germany helped 律 (Ritsu) rise from twenty-fifth in 2022 to fourth place in 2023.

Kanji emphasizing connections with others like 結 (ketsu / musubu; join), 愛 (ai; love), and 紬 (tsumugi; a soft fabric woven from floss silk) were popular in girls’ names for their associations with being kind. Many boys’ names evoked the splendor and refreshing nature of the sea and sky.

The survey, conducted by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance, also found the most popular names by their readings. For boys, it was Haruto for the fifteenth consecutive year, while Ema held the top spot for girls for the second year running. The most commonly used kanji were 愛 (ai; love) for girls and 翔 (shō / kakeru; to soar) for boys.

This is the thirty-fifth time that the survey has been conducted. In 2023, it was based on names for 6,951 girls and 6,957 boys, taken from the company’s data related to policy holders as of September 2023.

Girls’ Names

Ranking for 2023 (2022) Kanji (Main Readings)
1 (1) 陽葵 (Himari, Hinata)
2 (2) 凛 (Rin)
3 (30) 紬 (Tsumugi)
4 (8) 結愛 (Yua, Yuna)
5= (4=) 結菜 (Yuina, Yuna)
5= (7) 澪 (Mio)
5= (9=) 芽依 (Mei)
5= (40) 心春 (Koharu)
9= (4=) 陽菜 (Hina, Haruna)
9= (9=) 咲茉 (Ema)
9= (18) 翠 (Sui, Midori)
9= (20) 結月 (Yuzuki)
9= (36=) 愛 (Ai, Mana)
9= (36=) 彩葉 (Iroha)

Created by Nippon.com based on data from Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance.

Boys’ Names

Ranking for 2023 (2022) Kanji (Main Readings)
1 (4=) 碧 (Ao, Aoi)
2­­= (4=) 陽翔 (Haruto, Hinato)
2= (9) 暖 (Dan, Haru)
4= (25) 律 (Ritsu)
5= (1=) 蒼 (Aoi, Sō, Ao)
6= (4=) 颯真 (Sōma, Fūma)
7= (3) 漣 (Ren)
8= (1=) 凪 (Nagi, Nagisa)
8= (4=) 湊 (Minato)
8= (17) 湊斗 (Minato)

Created by Nippon.com based on data from Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance.

(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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