Baby name needed: Girl name for Kai’s sister

A reader named Anna would like a few baby name suggestions:

I’m expecting my second child, a girl, in April, and she’ll be half-English and half-Japanese. We already have a son named Kai, and we are trying to find a name that, like Kai’s, sounds good in both languages.

So far, they’ve come up with Sara, Ema, Naomi and Maya.

My first thought was to look for Japanese names that resemble familiar English names. Here’s what I found:

  • Ami, which looks like a variant of Amy.
  • Emi, which looks like a nickname for Emily or Emma.
  • Erika, which happens to match Erika.
  • Hana, which looks like a streamlined version of Hannah.
  • Kimi, which looks like it’s based on Kim.
  • Mari, Mariko, Marika and similar names containing Mari-, which is close to Mary.
  • Marina, which starts with Mari- and also happens to match Marina.
  • Megumi, which could be shortened to Meg.
  • Miki, which looks like a feminized version of Mickey.
  • Noa, which looks like the male name Noah…though there is a female in the Bible with the H-less version.
  • Suzu, Suzume, Suzuna, and other Su- names that could be shortened to Sue or Susie.

English names that are stylistically similar to Japanese names might also work well. Names like Mara, Nora, Dara, Dora, Tara, Tori and Una fit the pattern, for instance.

What other names can you come up with for Anna?

6 thoughts on “Baby name needed: Girl name for Kai’s sister

  1. I think Tora is the Japanese word for “sky” and could work. I also like Amaya (“night rain”), Mai/Mae (“brightness”), Maiya/Maya (“rice valley”; “beautiful forever”), Miya/Mia, Kaede (“maple leaf” – kind of sounds like Katie), and Geneva (Gen means “source or spring”).** My husband is Japanese, so I am looking for similar names for our children. I have thought about this a lot! My mother-in-law’s last name is Tashima and I was thinking about Tasha….maybe that would work?

    **I am not completely positive about these name meanings, but this is what I could find searching online. :-)

  2. Oh, and for boys, I like names that start with Ken – Kenshin (“modest truth”), Kenji, Kentaro, Kaemon (“joyful”), and Daisuke (I think the nickname Dais – pronounced “Dice” – is just too cool!). :-)

  3. I have a Japanese friend married to a Canadian man and living in Canada. Their son is named Stephen Ichiro and their daughter is Aya Elizabeth. I like the combination of a classic English language name and a Japanese name for each child. I think both names are excellent for their children.

    We also had a Japanese exchange student named Aya staying with us, and I thought, ‘what a pretty name’. Soon after I received a card announcing the birth of Aya Elizabeth.

    So that’s my suggestion: Aya.

    I just googled “Japanese baby name Aya” and found:
    The girl’s name Aya \a-ya\ is of Japanese origin…
    In Japanese, it can mean “colourful one” or “beautiful”, depending on the character used (Japanese has three scripts) also meaning woven silk.

  4. My names Hana…
    and to warn you I get called Hanna by evreysingle person that reads my name. (I live in North America not hawaii.)

    But I love my name because not very many people have my name here, so its unique. (Haw-naw)

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