The Akita, Shiba, and Tosa are all Japanese dog breeds and, if you have seen Wes Anderson’s film Isle of Dogs, then you will know Japan has had a long love affair with pets!
All of these breeds require plenty of Japanese dog names and if you like Sushi and Samurais, then this article is the place to look before naming your pet Inu.
Using their own alphabet, and language, Japan remains one of the most unique countries in the world; making the people, art and food, some of the most fascinating on the planet.
Whilst we are talking about Japanese guess what 犬 means?
You are probably right, that’s Japanese for dog, let’s get started with these names…
Cute Japanese Dog Names
If you have ever watched Japanese anime, and many of you will have, you might have heard the characters say “Kawaii” (i.e. cute)!
The Japanese love everything cute, from Hello Kitty to Pikachu, cuteness is embedded into their culture.
Apparently, looking at cute things even helped some students perform better at university.
These are just two reasons why choosing a cute name for your dog is a great place to start when discussing Japanese dog names.
meaning blossom. For only a couple of weeks a year the Cherry Blossom in Japan paints the whole country pink and white, that’s until the wind blows it all off!
- Kawaai – that’s cute in Japanese
- Yuki – meaning snow, a great name if you have a white dog
- Ran – meaning orchid, a type of flower
- Kyo – this can mean apricot, good if you have an orange haired dog
- Akemi – meaning bright and beautiful
Japanese Dog Names For Boys
Have you seen the classic Japanese film “Seven Samurai”? Be sure to check it out, it is the film that inspired the Western’s “Magnificent Seven”.
Samurai were warriors of ancient Japan, characterized by their famous swords. You can recognize them with their razor-sharp sword, layered armor, and expert fighting skills.
Many of their cultural values are still relevant today in Japan, for example, self-discipline and respect.
Their core values are good ones to teach your dog, maybe not the sword fighting though!
Here are some male Japanese dog names inspired by the samurai.
The first part of this name means walk, and if there is one thing all dogs love and need, it’s a walk
- Daisuke – meaning large, good if you have any other dog on the larger side
Japanese Dog Names For Girls
So you have a little female puppy and you want to choose a Japanese dog name for her?
Though it is true that traditionally the Japanese Samurai didn’t let women become warriors, there are a few that defied the odds.
Tomoe Gozen is an example of a woman who became the greatest female fighter in Japanese history, it was said that she had the military value of a 1000 men.
Her impressive skills make Gozen the perfect name for a strong and fierce dog.
Yoko Ono is a Japanese artist and was the wife of John Lennon before he was shot in 1980.
- Kimiko – meaning beautiful
- Aki – meaning bright and autumn
- Akane – great for a red dog
Popular Japanese Dog Names
Japan is a very attractive country, it is made up of islands and is covered, almost entirely, by mountains.
It has volcanoes, 60 of which are active, and when combined with over 1,000 earthquakes which hit Japan every year it is a dangerous place to live.
Although this might put you off living there, the Japanese diet of rice and fish makes them, on average, the longest living population on earth.
Many of the popular names in the list below are based on their diet of rice and fish with Takeshi, Ramen, and Yabu being our favorites.
this is also a very popular noodle broth from Japan, go to any ramen bar in Tokyo and you’ll witness plenty of people selling this famous dish
- Katsu – after the Japanese food Chicken Katsu curry
- Takeshi meaning military or warrior
- Takashi – this means noble in Japanese
- Sushi – this is the quintessential dish of Japan
Dog Names in Japanese with their Meanings
Meaning is everything in Japan.
That is why a popular religion is Buddhism, practiced by around 40 million Japanese people.
Most people (around 80 million), however, follow the folk religion Shinto, which is the oldest and most established religion in Japan.
When Buddhism arrived in the 6th century there was some conflict, but now the two religions work together and provide many words which make great names for pets!
Take a look at the meanings of some of these names and find one that might suit your pup.
If you’ve ever played Super Mario or Mario Kart on a Nintendo, you’ll know all about Yoshi. This is also a really common Japanese dog name.
- Rokuro – this name means 6th son
- Sakura – this name means a flowering cherry tree
Common Japanese Dog Names
The Japanese Shinto beliefs place a lot of emphasis on natural beauty and the landscape.
Japanese people say the mountains, waterfalls, and forests have their own souls. Japanese forests are full of spirits and people often visit the forest to talk to ancestors and get advice.
Although it is harder for wild animals to live alongside such a big population in a small country, Japan is still home to some interesting creatures, like the Sika Deer.
Here are some common Japanese dog names inspired by nature.
This Japanese dog name has two meanings. The first is sunlight and the other is a green vegetable
- Hotaru – this cool name means firefly
- Goku – after the main character in Dragon Ball Z
- Kiyoshi – this name means pure
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a Japanese dog breed, finding the right name for your dog can be difficult in any language.
Japanese is a great language when choosing a pet’s name because you can say a lot with a few syllables.
Having read this article, we hope you now have too many names to choose from!
Out of all the Japanese dog names on our list, we thought Goku was the best for a male dog, and Yuki for a female, they are both cool and cute at the same time.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any more suggestions and monikers.