101+ Best Japanese Dog Names (with Meanings)

Japan is home to a rich culture with a beautiful language, and with that language comes some pretty amazing names. So if you’d like to give your dog a Japanese name, you have a lot of great options to choose from. 

best japanese dog names
Our 101+ best Japanese dog names (and their meanings). Actually good Japan-inspired names.

Your dog deserves a title that’ll suit them well, so choosing the best possible name for them is super important. After all, once you teach your dog its new name, it’ll be hard to change it later on. 

For your convenience, I’ve compiled some of the best Japanese dog names to get you started on your search! 

Why Choose a Japanese Name? 

There are a few reasons why someone might want to choose a Japanese name for their dog.

snoozing shiba inu sleeping
A cute Shiba Inu catches some sleep on a comfy pillow

A common reason is that they’re getting a Japanese dog breed and prefer a name that reflects their dog’s origin. One of the most popular Japanese dog breeds is the Shiba Inu. However, several other breeds originate from this island country, from the small and fluffy Japanese Spitz to the big and powerful Tosa.

Other times, people may choose a Japanese name for their dog out of respect for the culture. Maybe you’re a fan of Japanese media, or perhaps you simply find the culture interesting. Or maybe you’re a person of Japanese heritage aiming to represent your culture in your dog’s name.

Whatever the reason may be, the perfect Japanese name for your dog is out there!

If you’d like a Japanese name for your male dog, there are a lot of great options to choose from. Each of these names has a meaning, so keep that in mind when choosing one. 

male vs female Poodle photo
A photo showing a male and a female Poodle. Is there much of a difference in terms of their temperament or trainability?

And if you aren’t familiar with the Japanese language, be sure to practice saying these names aloud before you settle on one–correct pronunciation is essential! 

  • Asahi (morning sun) 
  • Kaito (to fly) 
  • Ren (lotus flower) 
  • Ichigo (strawberry) 
  • Makoto (sincerity) 
  • Kotaro (to shine) 
  • Hiro (abundant) 
  • Pochi (a popular dog name in Japan akin to “Spot”) 
  • Maru (round) 
  • Sora (sky) 
  • Yoshi (respectful) 
  • Kento (wise, intelligent) 
  • Shiro (white) 
  • Hachi (the number eight; inspired by a famously loyal Japanese dog
  • Yuji (brave second son) 

There’s no shortage of wonderful Japanese names for your female dog. Regardless of her personality, there’s likely the perfect name for your dog on this upcoming list. 

cute dog awake in bed
What you need to know when your dog won’t go to sleep

A lot of these names have meanings surrounding nature or beauty. So if you’re looking for an elegant and feminine name, one of these Japanese names is sure to click. 

  • Sakura (cherry blossom) 
  • Yuri (lily) 
  • Rina (jasmine) 
  • Koko (stork) 
  • Asami (morning beauty) 
  • Asuka (fragrance) 
  • Rei (beautiful) 
  • Haru (spring) 
  • Tori (bird) 
  • Kiyoko (pure child) 
  • Akemi (bright and beautiful) 
  • Akira (clear) 
  • Emiko (blessed child) 
  • Hideko (excellent child) 
  • Mariko (genuine) 
  • Izumi (spring of water) 
  • Honoka (harmonious flower) 
  • Suzu (bell) 

Food-Inspired Japanese Dog Names 

Naming your dogs after food is somewhat of a universal thing. Sometimes, their fluffy and lovable bodies can’t help but remind us of our favorite treats. Or, if your dog is always begging for snacks, it may seem appropriate to name them after their favorite food. 

Yorke playing outside
A happy Yorkie plays in the grass

So if you want to name your dog after food but still want something with a Japanese origin, you’re in luck. One of these names inspired by the cuisine of Japan could be perfect for your new pup! 

  • Mochi (a chewy rice cake) 
  • Sushi (sticky rice with vinegar) 
  • Gohan (rice) 
  • Pocky (a biscuit dipped in a chocolate coating) 
  • Sashimi (raw fish) 
  • Miso (a savory seasoning made from soybeans) 
  • Sake (an alcoholic drink) 
  • Tofu (soybean curd) 
  • Udon (a thick, long noodle) 
  • Onigiri (sticky rice wrapped in seaweed) 
  • Matcha (a powder made from ground tea leaves) 
  • Omuraisu (a rice dish topped with an omelet) 
  • Katsudon (fried pork) 
  • Adzuki (red bean) 
  • Momo (peach) 
  • Ringo (apple) 
  • Nori (seaweed) 
  • Kurumi (walnut) 
  • Konpeito (colorful, star-shaped candies) 

Nature-Inspired Japanese Dog Names 

Names with a nature theme are perfect for pets, especially those with adventurous personalities. They’re also great for dogs with earthy-colored coats! 

bolognese dog breed
The Bolognese dog breed – you read that right! Small and playful.

From colorful flowers to fascinating wildlife, the world around us can be a great source of name inspiration. 

Here are some Japanese dog names for your dog who can’t get enough of the great outdoors. 

  • Okami (wolf) 
  • Bonsai (a small tree) 
  • Umi (the ocean) 
  • Hana (flower) 
  • Kitsune (fox) 
  • Kaede (maple leaf) 
  • Aki (autumn) 
  • Kuma (bear) 
  • Itachi (weasel) 
  • Miyuki (snow) 
  • Usagi (rabbit) 
  • Sango (coral) 
  • Matsuko (pine tree) 
  • Komorebi (sunlight shining through trees) 
  • Tanuki (raccoon dog) 

Anime-Inspired Japanese Dog Names 

If you’re a fan of animated Japanese media, consider naming your new dog after one of your favorite characters! 

custom disney dog artwork
Custom Disney dog artwork of my Labradoodle Max. At his favorite place! (The Beach)

Here are some lovable anime characters that could make some great namesakes for your furry friend. 

  • Shinji (truth; from Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Sasuke (assistant; from Naruto
  • Inuyasha (dog demon; from Inuyasha
  • Utena (tower; from Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • Totoro (troll; from My Neighbor Totoro
  • Misa (beautiful bloom; from Death Note
  • Natsu (summer; from Fairy Tail
  • Akamaru (red circle; from Naruto
  • Madoka (circle; from Puella Magi Madoka Magica
  • Izuku (unknown meaning; from My Hero Academia
  • Miku (beautiful sky; from Vocaloid

Japanese Dog Names – Final Thoughts 

With so many amazing Japanese names to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect title for your pup in no time. Consider jotting down any names that stick out to you and trying them out before you customize that dog collar

Also, make sure you choose a name that you’ll be able to pronounce! It can be a bit challenging if you aren’t familiar with the Japanese language, but knowing the correct pronunciation is important. 

Be sure to consider the meanings behind these Japanese names as well. If your dog is round and fluffy, it may be appropriate to name them something like “Mochi.” If your dog loves to swim, a water-inspired name like “Izumi” could be perfect. And if your dog has a wolf-like appearance, “Okami” could be the title you seek. 

Are you looking for some more names from around the world? Our list of Yoga-inspired dog names has plenty of beautiful Indian names to choose from!