200+ Amazing Japanese Dog Names And Their Meanings

Konichiwa! Welcome to our definitive guide to the most amazing Japanese dog names and their meanings! Japan has remarkable dog breeds that have become very popular around the world. These dogs were in movies, anime sitcoms and were even made into stuffed toys for kids to enjoy. But Japan doesn't just have extraordinary dog breeds. They also have a long list of charming, unique, and meaningful names – an excellent choice for your dog.

Giving a great name for our beloved canine friends remains to be a challenge no matter what breed or characteristics they have. Once you decide to welcome a dog in your home, you have to decide on many other things - including what you’ll call them. If you are like most pet parents, you want a name that is unique from all the other pups in the dog park!

Luckily for you, we know how hard it is to search for the most fitting moniker for dogs. It is especially true if you desire to have a Japanese-inspired name. So, read for more ideas, inspiration and find out what are some cool Japanese names for your pets!

What is the Japanese name for dog?

Pointy ears and upturned tails characterize most dog breeds originating from Japan. They can range from small to extra-large sizes. Some of their well-known breeds are the Akita Inu, Shiba Inu, Tosa Inu, Hokkaido Ken, and the Japanese Spitz. 

The word “Inu” means dogs in Japanese. It is also used as a name for many canine buddies. 

Japanese Dog Name Inspirations

Aside from the usual considerations for naming your dog Japanese names, other inspirations for choosing what to call them, are their size, personality, and individual reasons. 

  • Size of your Pooch - Some Japanese words can work best to describe the size of your pet. The term “Uki” means big, and “Kenta” is big and robust in Nippon.  
  • Personality - You can also look into words that best describe your pooch's characteristics. Kimi noble, Miyu for gentle, and Toshiko for clever may be the perfect name for your canine friend.
  • Color of your Pooch - another inspiration for naming pets is their coat color. Some pet owners call their pets with Adzuki, which means red bean or Yuki, which means snow. 
  • Your Passions - If you are into some hobbies, you can also consider words related to the things you for naming your pet. You can even call your fur friend “Sushi” if you love food. 
  • Special Reasons - people get a dog for various reasons, and it may also be one of the things you can use as inspiration for naming your pet. Some ideas include “Emi” means blessing while “Haru” refers to sunlight. 

There are many delightful things to consider when naming a pet. Whatever Japanese pet names you come up with, make sure you love it, and your dog responds to it. Make it a name that’s easy on the tongue, easy to remember, and meaning to you. Good luck with naming your new best bud! 

Male Japanese Dog Names

Shiba Inu wants to play

Japan associates the male gender with loyalty, prized honor, and a strong heart. Thus, male dog names often reflect these qualities. Here is some common Japanese dog names male that are excellent inspiration for naming your beautiful canine.

  • Akira – means bright or clear
  • Arata — means fresh or new
  • Haruki – Haru spring, and ki means radiance
  • Hikaru – means light or radiance
  • Isamu – means to be inspired by courage
  • Kazuki — Kazu means harmony, while means brightness or hope
  • Makoto – sincerity
  • Masaru — victory
  • Naoki – nao means honest or straight while ki is for tree
  • Ryuu — dragon
  • Sentaro — sen means steel and taro is for boy
  • Shigeru — flourishing or luxuriant
  • Katashi – firm
  • Taiki – great radiance, shine
  • Takashi – prosperous, noble
  • Hiroaki – broad, spacious light
  • Hitoshi – motivated person
  • Kenshin – modest truthful
  • Yoshito – ceremonial, correct person
  • Yuichi – heroic first son
  • Yukio – blessed hero
  • Junichi – obedient first son
  • Kenji – strong, healthy second son
  • Kichiro – lucky son
  • Kouta – great peace
  • Masaru – victory
  • Yasushi – peaceful
  • Yoshio – joyful life
  • Yoshiro – righteous son
  • Fumio – literature, scholarly hero
  • Michio – man on a journey
  • Rokuro – sixth son
  • Satoshi – wise, fast learner
  • Shinobu – endurance
  • Shiro – fourth son
  • Ryo - refreshing
  • Tsuyoshi - Strong
  • Masa - Just
  • Akio - Bright Man
  • Itsuki - Timber
  • Dai - Large
  • Osamu - Disciplined
  • Jin - Bright
  • Shota - Fly
  • Goku - aware of the emptiness
  • Minato - Harbor
  • Takeru - Fierce
  • Bunji - Affectionate
  • Kaito - Supportive
  • Taichi - large
  • Takeo - warrior hero
  • Takeshi - fierce warrior
  • Tatsuya - imperial
  • Yuuta - great bravery
  • Yukio - blessed hero
  • Tsuneo - constant hero
  • Tsuyoshi - strong
  • Sadao - Righteous hero

Female Japanese Dog Names

Japanese Dog names female sound delicate, kind, and loving. Japan associates the female gender with elegance; therefore, they are the perfect name that resonates with beauty, warmth, and affectionate feelings. Here are some fabulous inspirations. 

  • Airi – Ai meaning love, while Ri for jasmine or pearl 
  • Asami - morning beauty
  • Akiko – Aki is for red or autumn. Ko is a common suffix attached to girl names
  • Chieko – chi is for wisdom
  • Chou  - for butterfly
  • Hana - flower
  • Hikari - light
  • Hinata -  sunflower or facing the sun
  • Hisa -  long-awaited
  • Hoshi -  means star
  • Izumi — fountain or spring
  • Kaede – for dogs that love sweet maple nectar or maple leaves
  • Kaori — for scent, perfume, fragrance
  • Kawaii — cute or darling pooches
  • Mai — meaning dance. Ma also means true, and ai for love or affection
  • Mariko – ma is for real or genuine, and ri is for village
  • Megumi — beautiful blessing
  • Michiko — mi is for beautiful, and chi means wisdom or intellect
  • Mika – mi is for beautiful, combined with ka for smell or perfume
  • Naomi — nao means honest and mi is for beautiful
  • Rei – means bell or lovely
  • Rio – ri is for jasmine or village, and o is for silky thread
  • Sayuri — Sa is for small, and yuri lily
  • Shinju –pearl
  • Shiori –to weave a poem
  • Sora - sky
  • Suzume – means sparrow
  • Ume — means plum, which symbolizes fidelity
  • Yuuna — yu is for bindings, and na is for vegetables or greens
  • Asuka – tomorrow perfume, fragrance
  • Ayame – iris
  • Ayano – my color
  • Shizuka – quiet summer
  • Suzu – bell
  • Yukari – beautiful pear tree
  • Rina Jasmine
  • Kimiko - empress
  • Kei - Blessing
  • Rinko - Gem child
  • Koharu - a little sun
  • Emika - blossoming flower
  • Chia - thousand love
  • Maki - Precious
  • Ayaka - Petals
  • Kanna - guidance
  • Satomi - Wise
  • Yui - elegant cloth
  • Rin - Dignified
  • Yoshie - lovely stream
  • Mizuki - beautiful moon
  • Nobuko - Faithful
  • Sachiko - Joyful
  • Takara - treasure
  • Yuu - Gentle
  • Mana - Love
  • Miu - beautiful feather
  • Mayu - True gentle
  • Eri - blessed prize
  • Tomomi - beautiful friend

Cute Japanese Dog Names

Cute Japanese chin puppy

Kawaii! Japan is also world-renowned for its “cute” pop-culture. If you are a keen follower of J-Pop, you might be interested in naming your pooch something adorable in Japanese! Here are some monikers to use and their meanings.

  • Dokidoki - excited
  • Akachan - baby
  • Tori - Bird
  • Meisa - Sprout
  • Ojo - Princess
  • Amai - Sweet
  • Rini - the little bunny
  • Kicho - Precious
  • Kirei - Pretty
  • Shika - Deer
  • Oji - Prince
  • Suki - Beloved
  • Kami - Spirit
  • Nanako - Child
  • Jin - Tender
  • Shinzo - Heart
  • Yume - Dream
  • Megami - Goddess
  • Fuwafuwa - Fluffy
  • Mausu - Mouse

Popular Anime Dog Names

Japan also popularized Anime and Manga. If you are a fan of anime movies and TV shows, you might be interested in naming your pooch with monikers inspired by their famous characters. Take a look out our list and find a name you might love.

  • Apo - Hibito’s Pug
  • Akamaru - Kiba’s pet in Naruto
  • Black Hayate - Riza’s pet in Full Metal Alchemist
  • Ein - data pup from Cowboy Bebop
  • Kazuhito Harumi - that Doxie from Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou
  • Maru - stray dog in Kimi ni Todoke
  • Koromaru - the Albino Shiba Inu in Persona 3 the Movie
  • Gin - Akita Inu from Ginga Nagareboshi Gin
  • Sadaharu - Yorozuya’s pet from Gintama
  • Pakkun - the Ninja dog in Naruto
  • Wanta - from the Effen Lied
  • Zeke - pooch from Highschool of the Dead
  • Tobimaru - from Stranger: Mukou Hada
  • Tadakichi-san - the White Great Pyrenees in Azumanga Daioh
  • Tetsuya #2 - dog and mascot from Seirin Team in Kuroko no Basket

Famous Dog Names in Japan

Japanese people are also very creative and imaginative when it comes to naming their pooches. If you are in the country, you will often hear these beautiful monikers being called out to canines friends in the neighborhood.

  • Yoshi - Lucky
  • Hotaru - Firefly
  • Kyo - Cooperative
  • Keiko - Blessed Child
  • Yui - Supportive
  • Haru - Spring
  • Daiki - Nobility
  • Akira - Clear
  • Pikachu - Anime Character
  • Totoro - Anime Character
  • Tokyo - Capital of Japan
  • Nao - Honesty
  • Yori - Trust
  • Kiko - Chronicle child
  • Shizuko - Quiet
  • Yuka - Flower
  • Fuji - City in Japan
  • Kemono - Beast
  • Kobe - City in Japan
  • Kyoto - City in central Japan

Japanese Dog Names Based on Their Personality

Japanese spitz walking

Our pets also have unique personalities. There are playful pups, while others are lazy and always sleeping. Some pooches are very silly, while some are as sweet as honey. Their apparent characteristics may also be an excellent basis for choosing a beautiful Japanese name for them. Here are our suggestions to suit your pet’s personality.

Male pet names:

  • Akira - bright and smart
  • Atsushi - industrious
  • Hansuke - helpful friend
  • Hisato - long and happy life
  • Jun - obedient
  • Natsuo - pups born in summer
  • Osamu - disciplined
  • Satoru - fast learner
  • Souji - general manager (for leaders of the pack)
  • Tadao - loyal
  • Takahiro - noble guard dog
  • Toshi - intelligent
  • Tsutomu - for working dog breeds
  • Yasashiku - gentle and polite
  • Yori - public servant

For Female Pets:

  • Chie - wise and smart
  • Kaiya - forgiving
  • Kana - Skilfull
  • Kazu - Obedient
  • Keiko - Good girl
  • Natsuko - female pup born in summer
  • Madoka - Peaceful dog
  • Nani - beautiful
  • Nozomi - a dog you’ve wished for
  • Sachio - happy and cheerful
  • Sato - sweet
  • Takara - forever treasure
  • Tomo - intelligent
  • Yuko - Helpful
  • Shizuka - Quiet dog breeds

Japanese Dog Names Based on Colors

Another inspiration for naming your pet in Japanese could be their coat color or your favorite hues. It is one of the easiest ways to pick out a suitable moniker for your furry friend. Some superb examples are

  • Akako - red
  • Akane - brilliant red
  • Aoi - blue
  • Aya - means color
  • Ayame - Iris flowers
  • Chika - Scarlet flower
  • Kane - Golden
  • Kasshoku - brown
  • Kiyoshi - Pure
  • Kohaku - Amber
  • Kuro - black
  • Madara - spots
  • Masago - Sand
  • Murasaki - Purple
  • Shiro - White
  • Taiyo - Sun
  • Yoichi - Sunshine
  • Momo - Peach
  • Kurumi - Walnut
  • Gecco - Moonlight

Tips for Choosing a Japanese Dog Name

Shiba Inu Cool Dog Names

When it comes to naming our dog in Japanese, we should take on a few considerations to ensure that we come up with the most suitable one. Although there is no right or wrong way to pick a name, make sure to choose one that you will love. Here are some tips to help you decide. 

How does it sound?

Like other Asian-inspired terms, the best Japanese dog names also sound foreign for Western ears. Thus, you should be careful in choosing them. Avoid choosing words that sound sharp, harsh, offensive, or awkward sounding. 

For instance, “Saiko” is a Japanese girl's name, which means serene. But when said in the US, it means something else. Also, the name “Yudai” is a beautiful name for boys in Japan because it means “brave.” However, if you shout it out in a dog park in the west, it will sound like you’re screaming for someone to die. 

Uniqueness Factor

Japanese names are common if you are in Japan, of course. But if you are in other parts of the world, they are unique. You will often hear pet parents calling their pooches with words like “Haru Spring,” “Sora sky,” and “Inu” if you are in Japan. But 

Name that Age Well

Most pet parents get pets during puppyhood. While they are cute and cuddly, it is hard to picture them as adult pooches. But puppies do grow up, so it is essential to give them names that will suit them even when they are all grown up. 

Wrap Up

Japan has a long history of loyalty, honor, and tradition. Their culture is well-reflected in their poetry, ikebana, architecture, and lifestyle. Japanese dog names are an ideal choice if you are in search of something to call your pup. Even if you don’t have a Japanese dog breed, do consider some of our suggested names for that unique and meaningful moniker for your pet. 

Do you have a Japanese dog breed? How did you come up with your pet’s name? Any other suggestions that you want to include in our list? Let us know your thoughts on the Comment Box below.  


  1. Some Factors Influencing Selection and Naming of Pets - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pr0.1983.53.3f.1163
  2. Japan’s top 10 dog names for 2017 - https://soranews24.com/2017/10/19/japans-top-10-dog-names-for-2017/
  3. 6 Authentic Japanese Dog Breeds: Cuteness from Shiba-Inu to Akita-Inu! - https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0001799/

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