Rukia

Rukia will be familiar for many fans of the Bleach manga as the name of one of its main characters, Rukia Kuchiki. Although it’s written with the katakana ルキア, according to its author Tite Kubo he seems to have based it on Latin Lucia meaning “light” (*interesting fact for those who don’t know but in the Japanese language there isn’t an L sound, often being transliterated as an R sound).

However, Rukia can also be written with various kanji with various meanings such as:

ru

  • “flow, current”
  • “precious stone; gem; lapis lazuli”
  • “detain; fasten, halt”

ki

  • “hollyhock”
  • “rare, unusual”
  • “rare, uncommon; hope; beg, request”

a

  • “Asia; second, ranking next”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s るきあ.

Rukia could also be used as a variant spelling of Ruqayya, an Arabic female name meaning “spell, enchantment, charm” or “rise, ascent”.

Rukia is also the name of a genus of birds in the white-eye family. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the meaning nor origin behind the name.

Origin: Japanese, Arabic

Meaning: a variety of meanings depending in the kanji used; also a variant transcription of Ruqqaya “spell, enchantment, charm” or “rise, ascent”; also the name of a genus of birds

Usage: Japanese, Arabic

Variants:

  • Ruqqaya (Arabic
  • Ruqqayah (Arabic)
  • Ruqaya (Arabic)
  • Ruqaiya (Arabic)
  • Ruqaiyyah (Arabic)
  • Roghayeh (Persian)
  • Rukiye (Turkish)
  • Rukiya (Arabic)- Rukiya is also a Japanese male name

Kazeo

Kazeo is a Japanese male name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

kaze

“wind”

o

  • “male”
  • “cord; thong; string”
  • “tail; foot of a mountain”

There are likely other meaning depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s かぜお.

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: various depending on the kanji used

Usage: Japanese

Kanna

Kanna is a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

kan

  • “bookmark”
  • “ring, circle, wheel”
  • “tolerant, lenient, generous”
  • “god, deity”
  • “citrus fruit”
  • “joy, delight, pleasure”
  • “daring, brave, bold”

na

  • “greens, vegetables”
  • “what”
  • “Nara; what”
  • “calm, lull” (na(gi)
  • “south”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s かんな while it can also be written in katakana as カンナ.

Kanna (寛和) is also the name of a Japanese era that lasted for two years (985-987). The kanji that make up the name can also be read as Hirokazu meaning “gentleness, harmony”, as well as the name of a type of Japanese plane, a wood-working tool.

Kanna (also spelled channa and canna) is also the name of a succulent plant in South Africa (also known as Sceletium tortuosum) that has been used for centuries as a mood enhancer, able to relieve stress and anxiety as well as induce feelings of euphoria; and can be either smoked, chewed, or brewed as a tea. The kanna plant is also known as Kougoed in Afrikaans meaning “something to chew” or “a thing to chew on”.

Kanna is also another name for Platysace cirrosa (also known as karna), a perennial herb found in Western Australia. Kanna is the Noongar name for the plant, the Noongar being Aboriginal Australians.

Kanna (also known as ganna) is also another name for Caroxylon aphyllum, a species of shrub found in the Karoo region of South Africa.

Kanna is also the name of a town in ancient Lycaonia (what is now modern-day Turkey) as well as the name of a village in southern Poland.

Kanna is also the Haitian Creole word for “duck”.

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used; also the name of a Japanese era and a Japanese plane (wood-working tool); the name of a succulent plant in S. Africa and a shrub, a perennial herb in W. Australia, as well as the name name of a town in Ancient Lycaonia and a village in Poland; also a Haitian Creole word “duck”

Usage: Japanese

Osamu

Osamu is a Japanese male name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

  • “discipline; study; conduct oneself well”
  • “reign; govern, administer”
  • “logic, reason”
  • “income; obtain; reap; pay”
  • “relationship; control; rule”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s おさむ and オサム in katakana.

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used

Usage: Japanese

Yuri

Yuri is a Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian male name, the Slavic form of George meaning “farmer, earthworker” made up of Ancient Greek elements ge (earth) which seems to derive from an unknown origin, likely pre-Greek in origin; and ergon (work), which ultimately desires from a PIE root word. Interestingly enough, I’ve found that Yuri is a somewhat popular male name in Brazil which I’m assuming comes from the Slavic name.

Yuri is also a Japanese female name. It means “lily” written with the kanji 百合 but has other meanings depending on the kanji used:

yu 

  • “cause, reason”
  • 友 “friend”
  • 有 “exist; have; possess”
  • “divine help”

ri

  • 梨 “pear”
  • “village”
  • “reason, logic”
  • “profit, benefit”
  • 莉 “jasmine”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s ゆり and in katakana it’s ユリ.

Yuri is also a Korean female name (also spelled Yu-ri and Yoo-ri) written in hangul as 유리 and has different meanings depending on the hanja used such as: 

유 (yu)

  • () “to approve”
  • () “childish; immature; young” 
  • (宥) “forgive”
  • (釉) “glaze”

리 (ri)

  • (利) “benefit, advantage”
  • () “pear” 

Yuri also means “glass” written with the hanja 琉璃. There are likely other meanings depending on the hanja used

 Origin: unknown; Proto-Indo-European; Japanese; Korean

Meaning: Russian and Ukrainian male name “farmer, earth-worker”; also a Japanese and Korean female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji and hanja used

Usage: Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean 

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Female variants:

  • Yu-ri (Korean)
  • Yoo-ri (Korean)
  • You-ri (Korean)
  • Yuriko (Japanese)- with the ko suffix meaning “child”
  • Yurina (Japanese) with the na kanji
  • Yurika (Japanese)- with the ka kanji

Male forms:

  • Yuriy (Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Yury (Russian, Belarusian)
  • Iouri (Russian)

Niko

Niko is a masculine name, the Finnish form of Nicholas which means “victory of the people” from Greek Nikolaos made up from Ancient Greek elements nike (victory) and laos (people) both of which derive from a PIE source.

Niko is also the Croatian and Slovene short form of Nikola, the Slavic (male) form of Nicholas. However, Niko can also be used as a short form of Nicholas (also spelled Nico) or its feminine forms Nicole and Nicolette, making it a unisex name.

Niko is also a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

ni

  • 仁 “benevolence, humanity, charity”
  • 二 “two”
  • “you, your thou, second person”
  • “day, sun, Japan”

ko

  • “child”
  • “lake”
  • 胡 “barbarian, foreign”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji. Written in hiragana it’s にこ.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; Japanese

Meaning: “victory of the people”; also a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used

Usage: Finnish, Croatian, Slovene, Georgian, German, English, Japanese

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Variants:

  • Nico (Italian, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, English)

Ran

Ran is a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used. The most popular kanji I’ve seen for this name is  meaning “orchid” though it can also be written with  meaning “indigo”, either referring to the color or to the Persicaria tinctoria, the name of a species of flowering plants, also known as Chinese indigo or Japanese indigo. There may be other possible meanings. Written in hiragana, it’sらん.

Ran is also a Chinese surname written with the character 冉 meaning “tender, weak”.

Rán (pr. rawn) is also the name of a goddess of the sea in Norse mythology; she captures sailors in her net and drowns them. She is married to the giant Ægir with whom she has nine daughters who personify the waves. Though the etymology of the name is uncertain, it’s been linked to Old Norse rán meaning “robbery, theft; plunder” via Proto-Germanic *rahną, which itself derives from an uncertain origin, possibly from a PIE root word.

Ran is also a Hebrew male name, a variant transcription of Ron, meaning “to sing” from a Hebrew root word. 

Ran is also an English word, the past tense of run (to move swiftly, to go at a fast pace); rān is also an Old English word referring to an “unlawful seizure of property; robbery”.

Origin: Japanese; Chinese; uncertain, possibly PIE; Hebrew

Meaning: as a Japanese female name can mean either “orchid” or “indigo”; also a Chinese surname “weak, tender”; the name of a Norse goddess of the sea, the name of uncertain etymology though possibly “robber” or “robbery”; a Hebrew male name “to sing”; also an English word, the past tense of run, as well as an Old English word “unlawful seizure of property; robbery”

Usage: Japanese; Chinese; Old Norse; Hebrew

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Variants:

  • Rán (Old Norse)

Takuya

Takuya is a Japanese male name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

taku:

  • taku 拓 “to expand, to open” 
  • taku 託 “consign, requesting, entrusting with, pretend, hint”
  • taku 卓 “eminent, table, desk, high” 
  • taku 琢 “polish”
  • taku 巧 “clever, skilled, adroit”

ya:

  • 也 “to be”
  • “all the more, increasingly”
  • 哉 “how, what, alas, question mark”- an expression of exclamation or surprise

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana, it’s たくや.

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: various depending on the kanji used

Usage: Japanese

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Kokoro

Kokoro is a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

  • kokoro “heart, mind, soul”
  • kokoro “love, affection”
  • kokoro 愛心 “love, affection” +heart, mind, soul”
  • kokoro “idea; mind; heart; desire”
  • kokoro “tenderness, gentleness; kind, good”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s こころ.

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: several depending on the kanji used

Usage: Japanese

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Hibiki

Hibiki is a Japanese unisex name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

  • hibiki “sound, echo” (also a word in Japanese)
  • hibiki “rhyme; elegance, tone”
  • hibiki 響樹 “sound, echo” + “tree, timber”
  • hibiki “drum”

Hibiki is also a Japanese surname which can be written as 枇々木 or ひびき.

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s ひびき.

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: various depending on the kanji used

Usage: Japanese

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*Japanese names are fascinating to me because a name can have a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used. In Japan there are three types of characters used. The first is kanji, which are characters originally adopted from Chinese characters but which have a Japanese pronounciation. A single kanjii character can stand for a whole word or concept and some names can be made up of 1, 2, 3, or 4 kanji characters. Because kanji characters can have several different meanings depending on what character is used, a name can have more then one meaning.

But more than just meaning, kanji names also have different pronunciations, so if you read a name written in kanji on paper, you can’t be sure how it’s pronounced; ditto on hearing it, since it can have several possible kanji characters. That’s where hiragana comes in, since it can be used to write out the syllables. Katakana is used for foreign names or words of foreign origin.