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Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/5 01:35
Ifm 29 years old and live in Canada. My girlfriend and I are having a daughter due in 6 months. She will be 1/2 Filipino 1/4 black 1/4 white. Is it ok for us to give her a Japanese name? Wefve been looking all over the internet and social media for girl names and we honestly donft like any of them I feel like theyfre to basic or too common. We do like 2 Japanese names Kojima and Umiko (leaning towards Kojima)

Im a nurse and I had a patient a few years ago named Kojima and she was so nice and I always liked her name.

We both want our daughter to have a nice unique name but we also donft want her to have an identity crisis at any point. We live in Canada, neither of us are Japanese, nor can we speak the language and we donft want her to feel awkward having to explain herself when people ask her name and what ethnicity she is.

We also donft want her to have such a common English name that 10 people in her highschool have the same name as her.
by Justin (guest)  

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/5 11:11
I might be wrong, but the name Kojima sounds more like a last name or island name to be honest.

As a teacher who has dealt with thousands of kids - it's good to be unique with names but don't make it too obscure as that has other problems when a child gets older.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/5 11:28
Kojima is a Japanese family, not a female first name.

Umico (Yumiko?) is a female name but most parents don't name their baby today, although names which sounds old fashioned (shiwa-shiwa-name) is popular among some parents.


Another thing I concern other than identity for your daughter is, reaction of some Japanese people. When non Japanese people use a Japanese name, often the reason is not like yours, it is improper one. They just pretend to be Japanese people for doing something wrong. There is a slang which refers such non real Japanese people, I don't write it here though. Your daughter might be misunderstood such people and criticized. Even people in my country who use a Japanese name as a nickname are adviced not to use a Japanese name. However, you have a good reason to use it and I believe the law in your country doesn't ban Japanese name, you can name your daughter Japanese one. I wish you safe delivery.
by Nanashi (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/5 13:07
If you give your child a very unique name. They will have to spell it out to everyone for all the life.

Do you child a favour and use a normal-ish name.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/5 14:22
Well, if you just like the sound of Kojima , which as said above is a surname, you could either go with Cosima , which actually IS a proper female first name and is pronounced very similarly. Or you could just go with Kojima if it is allowed in Canada to just use any word as a name.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosima
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/5 15:17
Just my personal opinion: it doesnft make sense to give your baby a name in a language you donft have a sense for, a name to which you donft have a specific background story in particular, and on top of it gKojimah is a surname, not a given name in Japanese either. gUmikoh doesnft sound like a real name in Japanese either, though it has the old-fashioned g-koh ending (common among Japanese women of somewhat older age, including myself in my 50s).

Youfd have the choice of giving her a proper English-language first name AND a middle name, and if later in her life she feels shefs got too many classmates with the same first name, maybe she might decide to tell her classmates to refer to her by her middle name, or a nick name. Or she might just say that that IS her name, so what :) gCommonh is not a crime :)
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/5 21:05
I have never heard a name 'Umiko' but know some Japanese women called 'Yumiko', one called 'Umeko' , and there is a half Japanese pianist called 'Umi'. Umeko is a name of my friend but she says it is like a cat's name.
by Asiansenior (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/6 15:48
As many other have said, Kojima is a family name, not a given name. As for Umiko, while there are many Japanese women's names that end in -ko, Umiko is not a name that I've ever encountered while living in Japan, and a Google search (in Japanese) for it doesn't turn up any results either.

u Is it ok for us to give her a Japanese name? v

That depends on what your criteria for "OK" is.

In Japan, people aren't likely to be offended. However, there are very few people in the world who have a Japanese name but do not have Japanese ancestry. You said your daughter will be 1/2 Filipino 1/4 black 1/4 white, so if she introduces herself with a Japanese name, people will probably either:
A. Assume she's half-Japanese, possibly ask if her mom or her dad is Japanese, and if she has any relatives in Japan. When she says no to all of those, they'll probably ask how she ended up with a Japanese name.
B. If, by appearance, she doesn't look even half-Japanese, they'll probably ask how she ended up with a Japanese name.

Japanese people are unlikely to be offended that your daughter has a Japanese name, and it's unlikely that anyone would accuse her of "stealing Japanese culture." However, Japanese people probably will think it's unusual that a girl who has familial or cultural connection to Japan, didn't grow up there, and whose parents don't speak the language has a Japanese name, and some might even say "That's unusual."

So, to answer "Is it ok for us to give her a Japanese name?", people in Japan won't be angry at her, so if that's your criteria, then yes, it's probably OK. On the other hand, giving her a Japanese name will definitely arouse people's curiosity, and so she may end up frequently having to deal with being asked questions about her name and either taking the time to answer them or to politely decline to, and if she does answer, she may have to be braced for Japanese people reacting with "Oh, how unusual," which, even if they're not saying "unusual" is necessarily "bad," might also be an inconvenient hassle for your daughter to deal with,

As for how people would react in Canada, that's something I can't comment on.
by . . . . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/8 07:23
And I just wanted to throw out, there are a lot of English names that are not that common. It's pretty easy to pick a name so your child won't always be known as "Emily A." because there is also an "Emily B" and an "Emily C."

I am sure Canada has the equivalent of the US Social Security name database: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/popularnames.cgi

where you can track the popularity of names and watch naming trends. I thought about naming my daughter "Alice" but could tell it was trending upwards and didn't, it's now in the top 100. She has a relatively unique name and has yet to have another girl in her grade with the same first name.

Kojima definitely sounds like an island name or a family name.

Generally, look at Boomer names like Donna, Barbara, Linda and Susan. They're all out right now with modern parents, but in 20 years will come back and you can be ahead of the trend.

Or just find a name not in the top 1000 most popular names, it's not that hard. I managed it for a first and middle name for my daughter. Some ideas: Aphra (from the Bible and a famous British Playwright during the reign of the Charles I)I or Susannah (another famous British Playwright) Millicent (with the cute Milly as a nickname) It's been sticking around near #500 in the US, but Sylvia is a lovely name or Sylvie. How about Judith? Frida? Mina like Mina Harker from Dracula or something simple like Louise or if you want something more modern, you could try Noa or Aya. Aya was a popular millennial girl's name in Japan (where it often means colorful) but is also a Hebrew name (where it means bird), a Turkish name where it means (angel), and an Arabic name (where it means wonderful or miracle.) It is also used by the Chemehuevi and appears in several other languages. There is even a Saint Aya from Belgium.

Most of these are normal enough names. They don't sound made up and won't raise too many eyebrows but will let your daughter be the only one in her grade. I do get your concern. For some reason, I was the only girl with my extremely popular name in my high school class of 504. I thought at the time it was a relatively unique name until I got to college and found out just how insanely popular it was. I just think there are also a lot of non-Japanese names out there that are just waiting for their chance to shine.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/21 23:54
As an outsider from Japan I think itfs no problem to give your child a Japanese name. My cousin for example is called Nishida, named after my great grandmother who is Japanese. I love my cousinfs name and always thought it suited her even though we are more Dutch and only 1/8 part (or less) Japanese. The funny thing is that, as far as I know, Nishida is a family name and not a first name. However my aunties are a 100% sure that Nishida is my great grandmotherfs first name, but I think somewhere over the years there has been some mix up about her name as we donft have a lot of information about her.

Anyway if you are going to give your child a Japanese name itfs a good idea to do some research if the name you like is a family name or a first name. And also how you write it :)
by Dani (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/22 02:12
my aunties are a 100% sure that Nishida is my great grandmotherfs first name,

I had thought Nishida was a family neme because of my colleague whose family neme is Nishida, but it is true some name can be both a family name and a first name. In fact, I had a Japanese relative whose first name is Hagino but there is a family name Hagino.

Nevertheless I still think Kojima is just a family name, like many people said. Regardless what Japanese name you think of, how about asking advice or opinion at Japanese and locals's society in your country? For example, language exchange club or something, which you can meet Japanese?
by Tokumei (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2021/12/22 19:54
Didn't you know the first name of your former patient named Kojima? Perhaps you can name your child using Ms. Kojima's first name.

I think it's lovely that you're trying to name her after a person you actually liked. Except that if she turns out to be a very feminine girl, it would be a shame to have Japanese folks call her Kojima. It's like looking at an adorable baby girl and calling her, "Hey, Wilson."

I also agree with giving her the option to use a normal middle name.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Non Japanese baby with Japanese name? 2022/1/1 04:25
My Japanese friend gave a birth a cute girl in November and she named the baby Kaede. It literally means maple in Japanese. I think a few Japanese words which refer symbol of Japan can be a girl's name. For example, Sakura.
by guest (guest) rate this post as useful

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