(Main) gender: Female
Pronunciation: yuu-kah–rʸee [jɯ̟̀ᵝ.ká.ɾʲí]
Etymology and/or ways to write:
The name may ultimately be derived from 縁 (yukari) meaning “connection, affinity,” the kanji also being used for the name.
One other kanji that is used for this name is 紫, normally meaning “purple,” in this case linking to the phrase 紫の縁 (murasaki no yukari). As Marra explains, the word murasaki originally referred to the gromwell (lithospermum erythrorhizon) plant used for the extraction of medicines and production of a purple dye. Through poetry, it was associated with exquisite beauty by the 8th century and, later by the 10th century, the connection between female members of the same family, hence the aforementioned phrase.
For this name however, these 2 kanji are uncommon and it is far more likely for a female with this name to write it phonetically or with a 3-character set-up:
|yu (ゆ)||ka (か)||ri (り)|
|由 “reason, cause”||香 “fragrance”||里 “village”|
|友 “friend”||佳 “beautiful, good”||理 “reason, logic”|
|優 “gentle, elegant; excellence, superiority”||加 “addition”||利 “advantage, benefit”|
|有 “existence”||可 “acceptable, fair”||莉 part of 茉莉 (matsuri) “Arabian jasmine”|
|裕 “abundant, rich”||歌 “song”||梨 “pear”|
|佑/祐/侑 “help”||花/華 “flower”||李 “Japanese/Chinese plum”|
|結 “tie, bond”||夏 “summer”|
|夕 “evening”||賀 “congratulation”|
|柚 “yuzu fruit”||圭 “angle, edge”|
|悠 “quiet, calm; far off, distant”|
This name has been in use since at least the 1900s and usage was very uncommon to rare in its early years – there are several birth index records for girls named Yukari born in California before WWII, perhaps alluding to the ‘connection’ derivation of this name. The name started to gradually pick up in popularity after WWII but then peaked highly in the 1960s with over 1.1% of girls being given this name in that decade – from what I can gather and tell, Itō Yukari probably contributed to the jump in popularity of Yukari as a name.
Despite falling from its 1960s peak, the name managed to remain fairly popular well into the early 1990s with over 0.85% of girls being given this name in the 1980s, dropping to around 0.621% in 1990 (in the top 50). Since then, it fell in popularity, leaving the top 100 by 1996 and becoming uncommonly used by the 2000s with only around 0.041% of girls being given this name by 2009 and stabilising somewhat in the 2010s.
If you would like to add in your thoughts about this name, please share them in the comments below.