Yuma most popular name for baby boys in 2013; Yuina for girls

TOKYO —

Yuma (悠真) was the most popular name for baby boys in 2013, while Yuina (結菜) was the most popular girls’ name this year, according to a survey conducted by Meiji-Yasuda Seimei, a major insurance company in Japan.

The survey, conducted on a yearly basis by Meiji-Yasuda, sampled approximately 10,000 parents of babies born this year, the company said on its website.

According to the survey, the name most chosen for boys was Yuma, which surpassed last year’s most popular name, Ren (蓮), and became the most popularly used name since the survey began. 

The kanji used in most Japanese names hold a significant meaning and thus the time and thought put into choosing a name is very important. Meiji-Yasuda said that with Abenomics in full swing and the Tokyo Olympics coming in 2020, Japanese economic recovery is on the horizon. “As such, boys’ names were chosen to promote confidence towards a brighter future, and girls’ names were chosen to promote the importance of nurturing human relationships,” Meiji-Yasuda said.

Japan Today

  • -12

    ex-japan-visitor

    These Japanese citizens seem more brainwashed than before. Every store has to promote the support of Abenomics. Abenomics will be a failure. Watch and learn.

  • 1

    shinhiyata

    Johnny Yuma - the Rebel - Dr Bowen would be proud.

  • 2

    Kaede Sonoda

    In Japan, name for baby is changing as time passed. In the past, there were name that ending in -ro or -ko such as Taro, Ichiro, Hanako or Setsuko. However, there are no name like that, so "Kirakira name" is increasing now using a substitute kanji. Most popular name for baby, Yuma or Yuina will change other name after some years.

  • -6

    gelendestrasse

    At least the girl's popular name isn't something that ends in "ko"

  • -1

    Chiharu Tomon

    I have a friend whose name is Yuma. I think this name is cute. Nowadays, a lot of young parents want to name their children “Kira-kira name” which is very strange name. For example, a couple named their children “Pikachū” which the character of Pokemon. And the worst name is “Akuma (the meaning is the devil).”There are a lot of Kanji in Japan, and many parents want to name funny or strange one, but I think that parents should name likes normal.

  • -8

    Dutchduck

    So most parents, after weeks, sometimes months of deliberating come up with a name a million other kids share? Uniformity starts at birth in Japan...

  • 2

    nikkeiboy

    Interesting comments. In any country there are going to be popular names. This is a survey of the most popular names last year, but it could just be by a small margin. Although, I don't think that I know anyone names Yuma or Yuina nor do I know anyone that has kids with these names. I do know a small town in Arizona named Yuma. Must be of native American origin.

  • -2

    timtak

    Considering the fact that the yu of Yuma means relaxed or leisurely (at least in yuyu to 悠々と) , i think that these parents are hoping that their sons will have a 'truly' (ma) relaxed life of leisure, but since ex-Japan-visitor may well be right about Abenomics, a fighting name may be more appropriate, because I think that fighting spirit is going to be needed. The Japanese have been relaxing for too long.

  • 7

    CH3CHO

    According to their news release, there were 39 Yuma's out of 5338 boys sampled, and 46 Yuina's out of 5026 girls. The most popular names are about 0.7% and 0.9% respectively. The names of Japanese new borns are diversified to the point that old Japanese are unaccustomed to them. http://www.meijiyasuda.co.jp/profile/news/release/2013/pdf/20131129_01.pdf

    timtakDec. 02, 2013 - 10:31AM JST

    悠 probably comes from the name of Prince Hisahito 悠仁.

  • -10

    jinjapan

    @dutchduck. yes. i found that quite amusing as well . maybe they all huddled together on some website to come up with those names .

  • 6

    Harry_Gatto

    So most parents, after weeks, sometimes months of deliberating come up with a name a million other kids share? Uniformity starts at birth in Japan...

    .....but not in other countries? Why take a cheap pop at Japan?

    For example:-

    France: Pierre, Robert, Raoul etc.

    UK: John, David, Peter, Michael etc.

    Middle East countries: Mohammed, Abdul, etc.

  • 2

    siniestro

    I think in western or maybe I should say christian countries the same names for kids its much more common. How many Maria do you know? Having a trendy name over periods is also common. Take a look at this.

    http://m.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/a-wondrous-gif-shows-the-most-popular-baby-names-for-girls-since-1960/280709/

  • -2

    inverse

    I'm from Arizona--there's a small town named Yuma. Trust me, if you'd been there, you wouldn't name your kid Yuma.

    • Moderator

      The kanji characters have nothing to do with Arizona.

  • -4

    jinjapan

    @ harry _gatto, because the article is about japan, not other countries . also, the way the article is worded . doesn't seem as if months of deliberation took place ;-)

  • -3

    BNlightened

    Ugly, ugly names. They sound like coffee brands, or else some sad pair of "cute" mascots currently dominating this country's terrible excuse for news shows!

  • 0

    AKBfan

    Agree Harry. Plenty of very common names in other countries too. Not sure Yuma is a good name, even based on Abenomics. 3.10 to Yuma, anyone? Yuina is pretty awful too. Wahat happened to girls names with "ko" at the end?

  • 1

    Spanki

    Personally, I don't like the name Yuina and I think Yuma sounds better to my ears as a girls name but I don't have Japanese ears! Also, just noticed that my spell check seems to also prefer Yuma to Yuina.

  • -1

    cleo

    Why take a cheap pop at Japan?

    Because that's the sole reason some folk come to JT. They're probably all called Michael, John, David, James, Mary, Margaret or Elizabeth. Or if they're younger, Michael, Jason, Joshua or Chris. Because western parents never give their kids common names, oh dear me no.

    I don't see how anyone can look at a newborn baby, hear that its name is Yuma or Yuina (or anything else) and say that it's an 'ugly' name.

  • 5

    ReformedBasher

    The most popular names are about 0.7% and 0.9% respectively.

    Well, that proves without doubt that Japanese are sheep, right? (Thanks CH3CHO for the figures)

    Seriously though, the above would seem to indicate a lot more diversity than a lot of countries, including those of "rugged Western individualists". So much for some of the bizarre theories above.

  • 2

    Daijoboots

    So most parents, after weeks, sometimes months of deliberating come up with a name a million other kids share? Uniformity starts at birth in Japan...

    How did you get that figure of a million? And then come to your grand conclusion? Oh wait....

  • -1

    kimuzukashiiiii

    The names are harmless enough, but it would be more interesting to read the least popular 100 names, in my opinion.

    The thought of my child having a name that 4 others in her class share doesn't do much for me Im afraid. I prefer a bit Unique .... but not embarrassing.

  • 0

    Daijoboots

    The thought of my child having a name that 4 others in her class share doesn't do much for me Im afraid.

    I'd be more concerned that there were more than 500 kids in that class. And even then there's no guarantee you'll hit that 1 percent four times. Might be better off buying tickets for the end of year jumbo I'm afraid.

  • 1

    Jessica Marie Sato

    I am due to have my first baby in May, 2014. We have decided on Yuzu (柚子)for a girl. The boy still has a bunch of names we haven't decided on.

  • 0

    It"S ME

    When we had our child we told the doc to keep the sex secret. He uses a common name but the kanji is not common.

    Myself was born into a baby-boom so got a common name

  • 1

    Bob Sneider

    Its sad that people would name their children based on trends that won't even matter by the time the kids are able to question it. Japanese people are too influenced by current trends.

  • 0

    toshiko

    In schools, teachers usually call students by their family name with san or sama behind of family name. to distinguish students. Also, there are many same kanjis for the given names. Yuna can be with many different kanji combinations. Must be economically dull n Japan. Yu (Musubu - tie) Na is )nappa chinese cabbage or veetableg. leaves including spinach). During WW II, when food became poor, there are whole bunch of toyoko. After GI came, whole bunch of sadako. After Japanese faced moral well down, setsuko, etc. Then playground in school, we called each other with their nicknames beside given name. Teachers had to memorize their students' different kanji names. There were a whole bunchi of children that had kazu in their names like Kazuko, kazue, kanuo, kazuro, etc during Japan's militarialism eras. Kazu is peace.

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