80 Japanese Dog Names: Male & Female

Updated on February 14, 2016

Just like people, dogs come from many different places and countries all over the world, but rather than referring to them as nationalities like people, we categorize them by breed. No matter what country you choose, there’s likely a breed that originated there, and likely for more useful purposes other than being a terrific companion.


Breeds of Japan

Mostly bred for hunting way back when, Japan has many breeds that originated from various parts of Japan. Often times, because of the names, the Japanese Chin, Japanese Spitz, and Japanese Terrier are thought to have originated in Japan, but this is not true. I can see why it would be an easy misconception, though! The dogs who did originate in Japan, however, still have unmistakable Japanese-sounding breed names which leads them to being correctly associated with the country. Those breeds include:

  • Akita Inu

  • American Akita (aka Great Japanese Dog)

  • Hokkaido Inu

  • Kai Inu

  • Kisha Inu

  • Shiba Inu

  • Shikoku Inu

  • Tosa Inu (aka Japanese Mastiff)

As you can see, many of the Japanese breeds names have “inu” at the end, which actually translates to “dog” in English. Many of the breeds area also named after the area in which they came from in Japan which makes it pinpoint their specific point of origin.

Most of the breeds from Japan are known for being rather well-behaved and quiet dogs, only making a fuss when necessary for them. As with most any breed from any other country, these dogs fare the best when raised indoors in a loving environment, and can develop behavioral issues when left to their own devices outdoors. It is not clear why it is like this, but perhaps it has something to do with their innate hunting abilities.


Japanese Dog Names

If you have one of the breeds who came from Japan, or even if you are Japanese yourself, you might be on the lookout for some good Japanese dog names, and you should be! There is something about the Japanese tongue that just has a nice ring within the English ear. Japanese dog names are both exotic-sounding and desirable, and roll off the tongue nicely!

If you are in need of a few Japanese dog names, here is an entire list broken down by male and female names, also including the meanings behind the names. Meanings are important because many Japanese words may sound really cool, but have a crude or silly meaning.

It is like someone from another country naming their English Bulldog “Hotdog” which is a processed meat product encased in intestines consumed on a bun. It doesn’t sound so good when it’s put that way, does it? Nope. So, here’s the list and meanings!

Haru: Sunshine
Yoshi: Righteous
Shinobu: Endurance
Chou: Butterfly
Arata: New
Chouko: Butterfly child
Osamu: Discipline
Kyou: Apricot
Naoki: Honest
Ran: Orchid
Takuma: Pinoeer
Hana: Flower
Minoru: Truth
Aiko: Love child
Akio: Bright man
Takara: Treasure
Takeshi: Warrior
Hinata: Sunflower
Haruto: Soar in the light
Kasumi: Mist
Kiyoshi: Pure
Yasu: Peace
Nobuyuki: True happiness
Hikari: Light
Kaede: Maple
Sora: Sky
Ryou: Cool
Ren: Lotus
Daichi: Great Earth
Akira: Bright
Kenshin: Modest truth
Kaede: Maple
Isamu: Brave
Emi: Beautiful blessing
Takashi: Prosperous
Miku: Beautiful sky
Daiki: Great radiance
Masami: Become beautiful
Hibiki: Echo
Aimi: Beautiful love
Shou: Fly/Soar
Mai: Dance
Katsu: Victory
Tomomi: Beautiful friend
Masaru: Victory
Yuki: Happiness
Ren: Lotus
Akiko: Bright child
Yori: Trust
Hoshi: Star
Yasu: Peace
Chika: Scatter flower
Taichi: Big one
Wakana: Complete harmony
Makoto: Sincerity
Aya: Color
Kazuki: Harmony
Kazu: Harmony
Riku: Land
Yuri: Lily
Ichirou: One son
Rei: Lovely
Kouta: Big peace
Tsubaki: Camellia flower
Shin: Real
Akane: Deep red
Kaito: Ocean
Megumi: Blessing
Akira: Bright
Rina: Jasmine
Noboru: Ascend
Kaori: Fragrant
Hideyoshi: Good luck
Zuki: Moon
Kenta: Big and strong
Natsuko: Summer child
Hinata: Sunflower
Mami: Real beauty
Kenji: Study
Kohaku: Amber
Yoshi: Righteous
Shinju: Pearl
Kohaku: Amber
Akemi: Bright, beautiful
Sora: Sky
Hotaru: Firefly

There’s plenty of Japanese dog names out there that both sound beautiful have have an equally beautiful meaning behind them. Although many Japanese words loosely translate into English, you can get the gist of the meanings by breaking the names down in most instances. You can’t go wrong with any of these names, that’s for sure!

Dogs 101 - Akita


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      Linda Szymoniak 15 months ago

      All our furbabies have Japanese names. I see a couple of ours in the list.