Ren Tops Rankings of Most Popular Japanese Boy Names For 3rd Consecutive Year

posted on by Kim Morrissy

Japanese baby store chain Akachan Honpo has compiled a list of the most popular baby names of 2018. For the third year running, "Ren" has topped the list of boy names. The most popular kanji spelling is 蓮, meaning "lotus," a flower that is able to remain beautiful and resilient even in a difficult situation.

Ren is the first name of the Persona 5 protagonist, as well as the name of popular male characters in Uta no Prince Sama and Kamen Rider.

On the girls' side, "Aoi" is the most popular name, which was also the most popular girls' name in 2016. It has returned to top place after falling to 6th last year. Written with the character 葵, "Aoi" refers to the mallow flower. It is thought that children bearing that name will be dignified and radiant.

Aoi is the first name of popular voice actress Aoi Yūki. It is also the name of the female protagonist of Ai Yori Aoshi and a popular character from Aikatsu!.

Other trends observed in this year's rankings include a re-surging popularity for old-fashioned names like "Yamato," "Riku," "Tsumugi," and "Mio."

"Ritsu" experienced a dramatic hike in popularity as a boys' name, going from 199th place to 21st. This is possibly due to the influence of the NHK drama Hanbun, Aoi, which featured a character named Ritsu as the male romantic lead. "Ryoma," "Daichi," and "Mikoto" also entered the top 100 names due to the popularity of the actor Ryōma Takeuchi, dancer Daichi Miura, and the Japanese drama Unnatural protagonist Mikoto Misumi respectively.

The top 10 list of top boys' and girls' names for 2018 are below:


1) Ren (蓮)

2) Hiroto (大翔)

3) Haruto (陽翔)

4) Itsuki (樹)

5) Minato (湊)

6) Yamato (大和)

7) Yūto (悠人)

8) Yūma (悠真)

9) Yōta (陽太)

10) Yūto (結翔)


1) Aoi (葵)

2) Yūna (結菜)

3) Himari (陽葵)

4) Sakura (咲良)

5) Mei (芽依)

6) Yui (結衣)

7) Rin (凜)

8) Yua (結愛)

9) Hina (陽菜)

10) Riko (莉子)

Yūma, Minato, Rin, and Aoi were the top Japanese baby names in 2015.

Source: Akachan Honpo via Yara-on!.

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