The best Japanese Dog Names for your pet


Choosing a name for your new furry friend is an exciting first step in pet ownership. If you have an admiration for Japanese culture, selecting a Japanese name for your dog can be a meaningful way to honor that interest. Japanese names not only sound beautiful but they also carry rich significances and stories behind them. Whether you’re inspired by your favorite place in Japan, a beloved anime character, or the unique attributes of your dog, we’ve curated a comprehensive list of the best Japanese dog names to help you in your search.

What are good Japanese dog names?

Good Japanese dog names often reflect qualities you see in your pet or hope to see, such as strength, beauty, or gentleness. They can also derive from aspects of nature, seasons, or colors, which are highly esteemed in Japanese culture. Here’s a collection to start you off:

  • Sakura (Cherry Blossom)
  • Kumo (Cloud)
  • Hikari (Light)
  • Yuki (Snow)
  • Sora (Sky)
  • Kaze (Wind)
  • Riku (Land)
  • Ame (Rain)
  • Hoshi (Star)
  • Kawa (River)
  • Mori (Forest)
  • Tsuki (Moon)
  • Taiyo (Sun)
  • Umi (Sea)
  • Fuji (Named after Mount Fuji)
  • Tani (Valley)
  • Shinju (Pearl)
  • Sumi (Clear)
  • Hana (Flower)
  • Momo (Peach)

Cute Japanese female dog names

For your darling girl dog, you may want a name that’s as adorable and sweet as she is. Below are cute Japanese dog names that might just be a perfect fit for your female pup:

  • Akira (Bright/Clear)
  • Ai (Love/affection)
  • Kiko (Hope)
  • Fumi (History)
  • Nana (Seven, considered a lucky number)
  • Yua (Bind/Love)
  • Mochi (Sweet rice cake)
  • Kiku (Chrysanthemum)
  • Yumi (Reason beautiful)
  • Ren (Lotus)
  • Aiko (Beloved child)
  • Nori (Law)
  • Emi (Beautiful blessing)
  • Suki (Beloved)
  • Mei (Bright)
  • Chika (Scattered flowers)
  • Rina (Jasmine)
  • Yoko (Positive)
  • Asuka (Tomorrow perfume)
  • Naomi (Straight and beautiful)

Memorable Japanese names for male dogs

Akita dog in park during summer.
(Photo Credit: Prostock-Studio | Getty Images)

Choosing a name for your male dog can be a great opportunity to celebrate his strength, character, or the noble qualities you see in him. These memorable Japanese names are sure to stand out:

  • Akio (Bright man)
  • Hiro (Generous)
  • Katsu (Victory)
  • Nobu (Faith)
  • Taro (Big son)
  • Isamu (Courage)
  • Ryu (Dragon)
  • Raiden (Thunder and lightning)
  • Yoshi (Good luck)
  • Takeshi (Warrior)
  • Daiki (Great glory)
  • Kenji (Intelligent second son)
  • Masato (Justice)
  • Haru (Spring)
  • Kaito (Ocean flying)
  • Yuji (Brave second son)
  • Shiro (Fourth son or white)
  • Noboru (Ascend, Rise)
  • Satoshi (Wise, fast learner)
  • Ryo (Refresh, cool)

Gender-neutral Japanese dog names

For pet parents who prefer a gender-neutral name, or for those who like to keep a little mystery, these Japanese names work beautifully for any dog:

  • Yu (Gentle)
  • Kai (Ocean)
  • Rei (Beautiful, lovely)
  • Minori (Truth)
  • Hikaru (Light, radiance)
  • Kyo (Cooperation)
  • Masa (True sand)
  • Nao (Honest)
  • Rin (Dignified)
  • Shizuka (Quiet)
  • Taka (Tall, high)
  • Jun (Pure)
  • Mitsuki (Beautiful moon)
  • Asahi (Morning sun)
  • Fuyu (Winter)
  • Michi (Pathway)
  • Aoi (Hollyhock/Blue)
  • Misaki (Beautiful bloom)
  • Tomo (Friend)
  • Chie (Wisdom)

Dog breeds from Japan

Purebred white Japanese Spitz in spring against a background of grass.
(Photo Credit: Vadzim Sheleh | Getty Images)

Japan is home to several indigenous dog breeds who are beloved around the world for their distinctive characteristics and loyal nature. Understanding these breeds can help inspire the perfect name for your pet, especially if they belong to one of these unique lines.

  • Shiba Inu: The Shiba Inu is perhaps the most recognized Japanese dog breed outside Japan. They are small, agile dogs known for their spirited personality and fox-like appearance.
  • Akita: The Akita is a large breed, known for their dignity, courage, and loyalty. They were originally used for guarding royalty and nobility in feudal Japan. The Akita is the same breed as Hachiko — the famous loyal dog from Japan. The 2009 film “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” is based on Hachiko’s heartwrenching story.
  • Kishu Ken: This breed is notable for its bravery, loyalty, and hunting abilities. Kishu Kens are medium-sized, muscular dogs, primarily white, although brindle and red do appear.
  • Shikoku: The Shikoku is a medium-sized, agile breed with a wolf-like appearance. The breed is native to the Shikoku island, from which it gets its name.
  • Japanese Spitz: A small to medium breed, the Japanese Spitz is characterized by its white fluffy coat, alert expressions, and affectionate nature.
  • Japanese Chin: The Japanese Chin is a small, elegant toy breed with a distinctive, pushed-in face and luxurious, silky coat. The breed originated in China and was later brought to Japan, where it became a favorite of the Japanese nobility.
  • Tosa: Originally developed for dog fighting, the Tosa is a large, powerful breed from Japan, admired for its strength, courage, and loyalty.
  • Japanese Terrier: With a history dating back over a century, the Japanese Terrier was originally bred for hunting rodents and has since become a cherished family pet.

Why you should choose a Japanese name for your dog

Your dog’s name holds power. It encapsulates their essence and your hopes for them. Opting for a Japanese name not only celebrates your dog’s breed or your admiration for Japanese culture but also offers a meaningful narrative to your dog’s identity. So, take your time, let the names resonate with you, and choose the one that perfectly captures the spirit and heart of your cherished companion.