What are the Best Oriental-Inspired Japanese Dog Names?

Last Updated on April 20, 2023

Naming your new puppy is one of the great privileges of dog ownership, but settling on the perfect name can be tricky.

Have you just gotten a new puppy? Why not name your new pooch with a unique and meaningful

Group of Japanese dogs running on the grass
Six Japanese breed dogs looking happy

Here are some names that can serve as inspiration:

What Do The Japanese Name Their Dogs?

The top dog names in Japan might just be perfect for your pup. Here are some of the most popular dog names that can serve as inspiration:

  1. Kotaro, meaning small boy
  2. Koro, meaning roly-poly
  3. Choco, short for chocolate
  4. Cookie
  5. Crea
  6. Leo
  7. Yuma
  8. Leon
  9. Taro
  10. Sota
  11. Riku
  12. Maron, meaning chestnut
  13. Lucky
  14. Momo, meaning peach
  15. Sakura
  16. Maron
  17. Yui
  18. Yuto
  19. Mocha
  20. Kurumi, meaning walnut
  21. Koko
  22. Mei
  23. Runa
  24. Akira, this name comes from the famous Japanese writer and film director
  25. Aya, meaning art or beauty
  26. Haru, which means spring
  27. Hiroshi, which means generous
  28. Mao, which means cherry blossom
  29. Mika, after the Japanese singer and actress
  30. Rina, which means jasmine
  31. Toshi, which means wise

Japanese unique traditions, cultures, cities, and foods can also all serve as inspiration when it comes to picking the perfect moniker for your dog. Your dog’s personality, too, can serve as inspiration for their name. 

If you share a home with many family members, ensure that everyone has their input in naming your dog. You don’t want to change your dog’s name a few weeks in, as this can confuse them. 

Also, always opt for a short name that is not longer than two or three syllables.

While some strange Japanese words sound cute, you still want to make sure they are easy to call and simple enough for your dog to understand. 

Here’s a short clip on how you can teach your dog their name:

The most famous Japanese Dog

One of the most well-known Japanese dogs is Hachikō. Hachikō, who lived between 1923 and 1935, grew to fame because of his undying loyalty to his owner.

During Hachikō’s life, he would wait for his owner at the station every day for the walk home. 

The Hachiko with Dr. Hidesaburo Uenu statue
The famous Hachiko with Dr. Hidesaburo Uenu

Following Hachikō’s owner’s death at work one day, Hachikō continued to wait for him at the station every day for nine years, until his own demise.

Hachikō became a symbol of loyalty and fidelity in Japan and has been recognized in many movies and films. The most well-known film starring Hachikō is the 2009 American movie Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.

Dog names popular in Japan 

Playful Akita dogs happily resting on a field
Source: @normaninuneko / IG

Some of the best names for dogs are Japanese human names. Here are the most popular dog names pet owners are giving their doggos:

Female Japanese Dog Names 

The most popular girl names in Japan can make an excellent choice for your pup. Here are some of the best and beautiful Japanese names for your female dog, along with their meanings:

a soft Shiba Inu sitting on a park bench
Source: @emiandkoro / IG
  1. Akira – means bright or clear
  2. Kimi – means noble
  3. Chieko – means intelligence or wisdom
  4. Yuka – means gentle flower
  5. Yuina – means to bind together
  6. Tomiko – means wealth or fortune
  7. Tomomi – means beautiful friend
  8. Emi – means beautiful blessing
  9. Eri – means blessed prize
  10. Haru – means spring
  11. Haruko – means spring child
  12. Hana – means flower
  13. Hanako – means flower child
  14. Akiko – means bright child
  15. Kiko – means be happy
  16. Aiko – means little loved one
  17. Hideko – means splendid child
  18. Miyu – means beautiful or gentle
  19. Hikari – means light or radiance
  20. Yuko – means gentle child
  21. Mana – means love
  22. Airi – means love or jasmine
  23. Hoshiko – means star child
  24. Masa – means just or true
  25. Yumi – means reason or beautiful
  26. Hotaru – means firefly
  27. Wakana – means harmonious music
  28. Izumi – means spring or fountain
  29. Kazuko – means child of peace
  30. Kimiko – means empress child
  31. Akemi – means bright and beautiful
  32. Miwa – means beautiful harmony or peace
  33. Kiyomi – means pure beauty
  34. Ren – means lotus or love
  35. Yoshiko – means good child
  36. Mio – means beautiful cherry blossom
  37. Asuka – means perfume or fragrance
  38. Etsuko – means child of joy
  39. Mai – means dance
  40. Chika – means scatter flowers
  41. Maki – means hope
  42. Mami – means beauty
  43. Natsuki – means summer hope
  44. Kyo – means cooperation
  45. Asami – means morning beauty
  46. Rika – means true fragrance
  47. Suzu – means bell
  48. Hoshi – means star
  49. Emiko – means smiling child
  50. Yuri – means lily
  51. Yuuna – means gentle
  52. Minori – means truth
  53. Sora – means sky
  54. Miki – means beautiful princess
  55. Keiko – means blessed child 
  56. Satomi – means beautiful and wise
  57. Shinju – means pearl
  58. Rin – means dignified
  59. Yoko – means child of sunlight
  60. Natsumi – means beautiful summer
  61. Takara – means treasure
  62. Masumi – means true clarity
  63. Yasu – means peace
  64. Chiyo – means one thousand generations

Male Japanese Dog Names

Young Akita puppy lying on the bridge
Source: @ryo_akitainu / IG

Here are a few Japanese male dog names to serve as inspiration, along with their meanings:

  1. Aki – meaning bright or autumn
  2. Takahiro – meaning value or nobility
  3. Katashi – meaning firm
  4. Akio – meaning bright man
  5. Daiki – meaning great glory or nobility
  6. Naoki – meaning honest timber tree
  7. Hiro – meaning generous
  8. Kenta – meaning strong or healthy
  9. Kiyoshi – meaning purity
  10. Katsu – meaning victory
  11. Haruki – meaning shining sun
  12. Osamu – meaning disciplined or studious
  13. Taro – meaning large son
  14. Makoto – meaning sincere
  15. Hinata – meaning sunflower 
  16. Dai – meaning great or large
  17. Nao – meaning honest
  18. Kaito – meaning ocean flying
  19. Noboru – meaning ascend or rise
  20. Nori – meaning to rule
  21. Yori – meaning trust
  22. Isamu – meaning brave or courageous
  23. Yukio – meaning blessed hero
  24. Masaru – meaning victory
  25. Yasu- meaning peace
  26. Tadashi – meaning loyal or faithful
  27. Toshi – meaning wise
  28. Yasushi – meaning peaceful
  29. Kaede – meaning maple
  30. Ryo – meaning refreshing or cool

Names for Japanese Dogs Based on Breed

A variety of dog breeds that you know today have their origins in Japan. These include popular breeds like the Akita Inu, Kai Inu, Shiba Inu, Hokkaido Inu, Kishu Inu, and Shikoku Inu. 

Here are a few of the popular dog names for Japanese dog breeds:

Shiba Inu Japanese dog names 

Adorable Shiba Inu dog lying on the sofa
A Shiba Inu comfortably laying on a couch

The Shiba Inu is a small breed Japanese dog known for its spunky attitude. You can pick a name inspired by their gorgeous red-orange color, tiny size, or fun personality.

  1. Akane -which means deep red
  2. Alpha
  3. Dart
  4. Kitsune – which means fox
  5. Sass
  6. Yoshiro – which means righteous son

Japanese Spitz dog names 

a Japanese Spitz on a couch
Source: @spitz.tan / IG

The Spitz is a type of Japanese dog breed known for its beautiful white coat. This gorgeous fluffy fur lends itself to a variety of different dog names.

  1. Aspen – a famous ski-resort town in America
  2. Bolt – the white dog from the Disney movie of the same name
  3. Fuzz
  4. Luna
  5. Misty
  6. Poof
  7. Snow 
  8. Winter
  9. Yuki – which means snow or happiness

Hokkaido Japanese dog names 

Charming Hokkaido dog standing on a snow
Source: @niki_and_nova / IG

Hokkaidos are brave and make fantastic watchdogs and hunters. Due to this, warrior-style names are perfect for this Japanese working breed.

  1. Daiki – which means excellent glory
  2. Toshi – which means wise
  3. Ken – which means healthy and strong
  4. Manabu – which means to study or learn
  5. Tatsuya – which means imperial

Akita Japanese dog names 

A picture of Akita dog walking on the grass
A fluffy Akita looking up while standing on a grassfield

One of the larger Japanese dog breeds, the loyal Akita is known as an excellent guard dog, but they also have a gentle and reserved side.

  1. Kazuki, which means peace
  2. Makato, which means sincere
  3. Mamoru, which means guardian or protector
  4. Nao, which means honest
  5. Yuka, which means gentle flower

Tosa Inu Japanese dog names 

a happy Tosa Inu laying on the grass
Source: @bastetsweetbutpsycho / IG

A rare Japanese breed, the Tosa Inu (AKA Japanese mastiff), is a fighting dog that needs a powerful name:

  1. Ali, after Muhhamad Ali
  2. Butch
  3. Isamu, which means brave
  4. Katsuro, which means victorious son
  5. Spike
  6. Kenshin – from the anime Samurai X
  7. Yuuta – which means excellent bravery
  8. Kenji – which means strong

Japanese Dog Names Inspired By Temperament or Appearance

Your dog’s quirky personality or good looks can inspire some great dog names. Here are some that might suit your dog’s characteristics:

  1. Kuru – which means black
  2. Takeo – which means warrior
  3. Yoshi – which means good
  4. Ryuu – which means dragon
  5. Jin – which means placid
  6. Taidana – which means lazy
  7. Doki doki – which means excited
  8. Fuwafuwa – which means fluffy
  9. Aoi – which means blue

Dog Names Influenced by Japanese Words and Local Traditions

Other Japanese words from popular culture can inspire some cute names for your dog. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Manga – a Japanese comic
  2. Haiku – a form of a poem with a set three-line structure 
  3. Geisha – a female Japanese dancer and artist
  4. Bonsai – an artistic way of creating miniature trees 
  5. Origami – the ancient art of Japanese paper folding
  6. Samurai – a type of Japanese warrior
  7. Sensei – a Japanese teacher or master
  8. Shinto – a Japanese religion
  9. Shogun – a military dictator
  10. Pochi – the Japanese word for pooch
  11. Tenko – a celestial fox from folklore
  12. Obon – a yearly Buddhist festival that honors the ancestors
  13. Sakura – the cherry blossom or Japan’s national flower
  14. Kanpai – Japanese way of saying cheers
  15. Sumo – the famous ancient Japanese wrestling sport
  16. Hashi – the Japanese word for chopsticks
  17. Chanoyu – a traditional Japanese tea ceremony

Dog Names Inspired by Japan’s Geography

A Shiba Inu dog standing in a beautiful landscape
Source: @tokyo.shibainu / IG

Japan is also well-known for its snow-capped mountains and pink cherry blossoms. Its most famous cities and regions can serve as inspiration for your dog’s name:

  1. Tokyo
  2. Osaka
  3. Kobe
  4. Kyoto
  5. Kawasaki
  6. Fuji
  7. Fushimi
  8. Ashi
  9. Oki
  10. Sapporo
  11. Yoko

Dog Names Inspired by Japanese Animals

Why not get inspiration from other four-legged creatures when naming your dog? Inu is the Japanese word for dog, but you can also name your dog after a wolf or even a tiger!

  1. Neko (cat)
  2. Saru (monkey)
  3. Tanuki (raccoon)
  4. Kuma (bear)
  5. Sika (deer)
  6. Tori (bird)
  7. Ushi (cow)
  8. Uma (horse)
  9. Tora (tiger)
  10. Ookami (wolf)
  11. Kitsune (fox)
  12. Mausu (mouse)
  13. Shika (deer)
  14. Suzume (sparrow)

Dog Names Inspired by Popular Japanese Food and Drinks

Japan is the home of great dishes like sushi!

While you could name your dog Maki or Sashimi, there are so many other famous Japanese foods and drinks that can also lend their name to your dog. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Sake – a rice wine famous in Japan
  • Soba – a Japanese noodle made from buckwheat.
  • Ramen – a type of Japanese soup and noodle dish
  • Edamame – a kind of soybean served in the shell
  • Tempura – a type of deep-fried batter used on Japanese seafood and vegetables
  • Udon – a thick noodle made from wheat flour
  • Manju – a Japanese treat made from boiled adzuki beans and sugar
  • Matcha – a type of green tea
  • Ryokucha – a form of Japanese green tea
  • Miso – a type of sauce or flavoring
  • Kombu – a kind of seaweed used in sushi
  • Natto – fermented soybeans
  • Momoshu – a Japanese peach liquor
  • Amazake – a sweet fermented Japanese rice drink

Names Inspired by Japanese Anime Dog Characters

A Shiba Inu wearing a red bow tie
Source: @shibainu_shiro_dog / IG

Love anime or sophisticated Japanese cartoons? Then this is a great place to look for your dog’s name.

  1. Akamaru – Kiba’s ninja pup from Naruto
  2. Apo – Hibito’s pet pug from Space Brothers
  3. Alexander – Nina’s pet from Fullmetal Alchemist
  4. Armageddon – Fumi’s pet from Hayate the Combat Butler 
  5. Bee – a Labrador from Dragon Ball Z
  6. Blue – Wolfdog from Wolf’s Rain
  7. Ein – Corgi from Cowboy Bebop
  8. Gin – from Ginga Nagareboshi Gin
  9. Den – from Fullmetal Alchemist
  10. Guts – pooch from Kill la Kill
  11. Iggy – Boston Terrier from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
  12. Heen – Errand dog from Howl’s Moving Castle
  13. Koromaru – Shiba Inu from Megami Tensei
  14. Kazuhito Harumi – Dachshund from Inu to Hasami Wa Tsukaiyou 
  15. Maru – or Pedro Martinez, a stray pup from Kimi ni Todoke
  16. Menchi – Excel’s dog from Excel Saga
  17. Pluto – from Black Butler
  18. Pakkun – Kakashi’s Nin-dog from Naruto
  19. Potato – stray dog from Air
  20. Shiro – Momotaru’s Japanese Spitz from Hoozuki’s Coolheadedness
  21. Sadaharu – pet and mascot from Gintama
  22. Tetsuya #2 – Kuroko’s pet dog from Kuroko’s Basketball
  23. Tadakichi-san – Chiyo’s pup from Azumanga Daioh
  24. Tobimaru – Shiba Inu from Sword of the Stranger
  25. Zeke – puppy from Highschool of the Dead 
  26. Wanta – from Elfen Lied

Cute Japanese Dog Names

Japan is also well-known for its love of all things little and cute, hence Kawaii. If you’re looking for cute names, here are a few you can choose from:

  1. Wasabi
  2. Temaki
  3. Nigiri
  4. Koko
  5. Mochi
  6. Uni
  7. Momo
  8. Cho
  9. Cherry
  10. Roe
  11. Hashi
  12. Kurumi

Finding the Right Japanese Name for Your Dog

Happy Shiba Inu comfortably lying on the park
A contented Shiba Inu living the dog life

We hope you have picked the perfect name for your pup with so many Japanese dog names to choose from.

Wait until your dog gets home before setting its name in stone. You want to make sure your chosen name suits your unique pet. 

Do you have a Japanese dog of your own and have some name ideas? Let us know in the comments below.

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