Welcome

Welcome to Beyond Sakura and Hiroshi, a blog whose aims of this blog are to cover many of the names that exist in the country, ancient and modern, popular and rare, and also share lists of names with a variety of themes.

Please note that I will NOT be posting on this blog every day, rather, I will be posting 2 names on BSAH every 3 days, so with the 2 names being posted on a Monday and another 2 will be added on a Thursday etc. As for the name lists section, I am currently putting it on hiatus. Also note that I will not be posting anything on this blog in the months of March, June, September and December.

If you have any thoughts about any of the names being posted on this blog or any general feedback or tips, it is highly encouraged to do just that as it will help me improve future content on this blog.
For more musings and ramblings on other name topics, my Twitter handle is @maybeitsdaijiro. My other website, Maybe it is Daijirō (aka Maks), from this point forward, will feature posts regarding my own naming research.

The list of sources that I used for this blog is included here. On this page is a pronunciation guide so you can get familiarised with the pronunciation of Standard Japanese and the way I transcribe pronunciations. A list of names that have been posted on BSAH is also included here, as well as a list of name lists being published.

Thank you for reading.

Akashi (あかし)

Sources Pronunciation guide

(Main) gender: Male
Pronunciation: ah-kah-shee [á.kà.ɕì]


Etymology and/or ways to write:
This name can be used as 証 meaning “proof, evidence, sign,” derived from the continuative form of the verb 明かす (akasu) meaning “to reveal, divulge, expose; to prove, verify,” 灯 (also 燈 for this name), meaning “light, lamp,” also originating from this derivation.
These kanji, along with 朱 meaning “vermilion,” 暁 meaning “dawn, daybreak,” 昊 meaning “sky” and others, can be suffixed with a shi kanji, such as 史 meaning “history,” 志 meaning “will, aim, goal” or 司 meaning “office.”

Popularity:
Overall usage for this name is very uncommon, being in use since at least the Meiji period (1868-1912). However, the Heisei period (1989-2019) was the era which saw increases in Akashi’s popularity, particularly heading into the 21st century. Less than 0.01% of boys were given this name throughout the 1990s and 2000s, though according to my preliminary 2014-8 names research, the percentage rose to over 0.02% in that time period.

If you would like to add in your thoughts about this name, please share them in the comments below.

Kazusa (かずさ)

Sources Pronunciation guide

(Main) gender: Female, can be male as well
Pronunciation: kah-zuu-sah [ká.zɨ̀ᵝ.sà]
Alternative writing: かづさ


Etymology and/or ways to write:
The name’s usage is seemingly inspired by an old province of Japan named Kazusa (上総), which now makes up part of Chiba Prefecture. The name of the province is shifted from earlier 上つ総 (Kami tsu Fusa) which refers to that province being the upper part (rather, the front) of earlier and larger Fusa Province, which split into two separate ones (the other being Shimōsa Province, situated north of Kazusa).
This name though is mainly made-up of a simple ka(d)zu+sa combination. The first element is derived from 数 (kazu) meaning “number, amount” with other kanji related to numbers and calculations including 一/壱 meaning “one,” 和, in this case meaning “sum” (normally “harmony, peace”), 千 meaning “thousand,” 寿 meaning “congratulations; longevity” and 智/知 meaning “wisdom.” As for the second element, it can be used as:

  • meaning “gauze”
  • / meaning “sand”
  • meaning “help”
  • meaning “blossom”
  • / meaning “colouring”
  • meaning “cherry (tree, blossom)”

Back to the first element, it can also be split into two kanji, with a ka kanji like 香 meaning “fragrance” or 果 meaning “fruit” and a kanji that can be read as zu, e.g. 寿.

Popularity:
[For this post, the percentages for both Kazusa and Kadzusa are added up]
Though it has been in use since at least the latter half of the Meiji period (1868-1912), much of its usage is concentrated on persons born since the Heisei period (1989-2019). Around 0.018% of girls and around 0.004% of boys received this name in 1990, rising to nearly 0.04% for the girls and over 0.015% for the boys by 2007. According to my preliminary 2014-8 names research, usage has dropped down a tad bit, being given to over 0.015% of girls and over 0.010% of boys in that time period.

If you would like to add in your thoughts about this name, please share them in the comments below.

Mebae (めばえ)

Sources Pronunciation guide

(Main) gender: Female
Pronunciation: me-bahe [mè̞.bá.é̞]


Etymology and/or ways to write:
This name is stemmed from the word 芽生え (mebae) meaning “bud, sprout,” for which 萌/萠 can also be used, as well as the combination 萌生/萠生.
As far as other combinations go, 芽映 can be used as a name, the second kanji meaning “shine, glow.” 萌/萠 can be suffixed with an e kanji like 恵 meaning “wisdom,” 絵 meaning “picture, drawing,” 衣 meaning “clothing” or 依 meaning “reliance, dependence.”

Popularity:
Overall usage for this name is very uncommon, more often used on females born since the Heisei period (1989-2019). Around 0.005% of girls were given this name in 1990, rising to over 0.015% by 2007 and staying around the 0.01% mark much of the time since then.

If you would like to add in your thoughts about this name, please share them in the comments below.

Daichi (だいち)

Sources Pronunciation guide

(Main) gender: Male
Pronunciation: dah-ee-chee [dá.ì.tɕì]


Etymology and/or ways to write:
This name is mainly written as 大地, which means “ground, earth,” made up of 大 (dai) meaning “large, big” and 地 (chi) meaning “earth, ground, land; place.” Owing to this word being the centrepiece of this name, 陸, normally read as riku meaning “land,” and 大陸, normally tairiku meaning “continent” can also be used for this name.
For the second element, any other kanji with the reading (i)chi can be used, such as 智/知 meaning “wisdom,” 馳 meaning “running, hurrying,” 一 meaning “one,” or 千 meaning “thousand.” As for the second element, it can be used as 太 meaning “plump, thick,” 汰 meaning “wash, scour” or 泰 meaning “quiet, peaceful.”

Popularity:
Though there is (uncommon) usage of this name in the 1970s, 1960s and even up to the early 20th century, it wasn’t until the early 1980s that Daichi began experiencing a rise in its popularity. By 1990, over 0.45% of boys received this name, dropping to over 0.41% by 1994 then rising back to a peak of over 0.57% by 1997.
It has dropped back down a bit in the 2000s with over 0.44% of boys being given this name by 2007. By the early 2010s, it was hovering around the bottom quarter of the top 100 but had made a short resurgence in the middle and latter part of the decade, regaining its place within the top 50 in 2018 before dropping back down below the top 50 by the next year.

If you would like to add in your thoughts about this name, please share them in the comments below.

Miwa (みわ)

Sources Pronunciation guide

(Main) gender: Female
Pronunciation: mʸee-wah [mʲí.ɰà]


Etymology and/or ways to write:
The most common form of this name is 美和, made up of (mi) (also ) meaning “beauty” and (wa) meaning “harmony, peace.” Other ways to write this name include:

mi (み) wa (わ)
sign of the Sheep / “ring, circle; wheel”
“seed; fruit” “wave”
“three” “feather”
“sea, ocean” “laugh(ter)”
“gem, jewel” heraldic comma design
“light; ray, beam, glow”
“increase”
“heart, mind”
“looking, viewing”
“love, admiration”

Popularity:
From the Edo period (1603-1868) to the first half of the 20th century, usage of this name was very uncommon. That all changed in the 1960s when it entered the top 100 for the first time, rising to over 0.43% in that decade, probably influenced by actress and singer Miwa Takada.
It remained within the top 100 in the 1970s and much of the 1980s but by the start of the Heisei period (1989-2019), it had already left the top 100. For much of that period, percentages stayed above the 0.1% mark, though there were periods, particularly the late 1990s-mid 2000s, where percentages fell below that mark.

If you would like to add in your thoughts about this name, please share them in the comments below.

Mirai (みらい)

Sources Pronunciation guide

(Main) gender: Female, can be male as well
Pronunciation: mʸee-rah-ee [mʲí.ɾà.ì]


Etymology and/or ways to write:
This name is mainly written as 未来 (also 未來 and 未徠) which refers to the future. Other kanji used for this name include:

mi (み) rai (らい)
“beauty” “thanks, gratitude; gift”
“seed; fruit” “request, favour; trust”
“sea, ocean” “lovely, beautiful”
“light; ray, beam, glow” “bud”
“gem, jewel” “lightning, thunder”
“increase” “good” “reliance, dependence”
“heart, mind” “thin silk, gauze” “clothing”
“desire, wish, hope”
“harbour, port”

Popularity:
Signs of initial continuous usage for this name occurred in the 1970s, though it wasn’t until the arrival of the Heisei period (1989-2019) that usage rose and remained sort of where it is now.
The percentage of boys with this name rose to over 0.03% in 1989, though that became short-lived and dropped to around 0.009% by 1990. Female usage, however, remained relatively steady after 1989 with over 0.13% of girls receiving this name by 1990. Usage for females dropped a bit for much of the 1990s, though by 2000, it rose back up to over 0.15% of girls (also over 0.07% of boys).
Since then, usage for this name for both genders dropped back down in general. According to my preliminary 2014-8 names research, over 0.07% of girls and over 0.04% of boys received this name.

If you would like to add in your thoughts about this name, please share them in the comments below.

Katsutoshi (かつとし)

Sources Pronunciation guide

(Main) gender: Male
Pronunciation: kah-tsuu-to-shee [kà.tsɨ́ᵝ.tò̞.ɕì]


Etymology and/or ways to write:
The first element of this name is usually written as or , from the verb meaning “to win, gain victory,” while the second element stems from any of these following derivations:

  • classical adjective 利し (toshi) meaning “sharp”
  • classical adjective 敏し (toshi) meaning “keen, clever”
  • /(toshi) meaning “year; age”

has similar meanings to both adjectives while 寿/links to /by way of the noun, read as kotobuki, meaning “congratulations; longevity.” The second element can also be split into two kanji, with a to kanji like meaning “ascent” and a shi kanji such as meaning “will, aim, goal.” The combination 勝利, is also a word, usually read as shōri meaning “victory, triumph, conquest.”

Popularity:
For the first three decades of the 20th century, usage was uncommon with percentages hovering under or above the 0.1% mark. The 1940s though was the only decade in which it managed to rank within the top 100. The first half of that decade, in particular, was the time period of peak usage for Katsutoshi as data from Meiji Yasuda and Namae Yurai show with the appearance of 勝利 in their data (the writing peaking in 1944). This peak in usage is attributed to the geopolitics of the time with Japan’s involvement in the Pacific War (1941-1945).
After the war ended, the name dropped back down, being given to just over 0.03% in the 1950s, before rising back up to over 0.14% in the 1960s and over 0.11% in the 1970s. Since the 2000s, most years do not see percentages for Katsutoshi of over 0.01%.

If you would like to add in your thoughts about this name, please share them in the comments below.